The 35th Annual

Workshop in Geometric Topology

Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
June 14 - 16, 2018


Workshop Information

Workshop Outcomes

The Workshop was held as scheduled.


Requests for financial support: Expired
Abstracts of contributed talks: Expired
Rooms in Prince Center: Expired. If you want to reserve a room, contact the Prince Conference Center directly to determine whether they have any rooms available. Otherwise, check the Local Info page for a list of nearby hotels.


The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, and ends at noon on Saturday, June 16. Each day there is a one-hour lecture by the principal speaker as well as contributed talks by participants. The program is designed so that there is ample time for informal networking among participants. The workshop ends with a problem session at noon on Saturday.

Andras Stipsicz

Principal Speaker

The featured speaker is Professor András Stipsicz of the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics in Budapest, Hungary. He will give a series of three one-hour lectures on Invariants of Knots and Links.

Contributed Talks

Participants are invited to contribute talks; time will be allotted each day for 20-minute talks by participants. Abstracts may be entered on the registration form or sent directly to G. Venema (send email).


Financial support, provided by the National Science Foundation, will be available to cover partial travel and living expenses of participants who do not have other funding for their research. Such support can be requested on the registration form. Requests for support must be received by May 1, 2018. Graduate students and recent PhDs in geometric topology are especially encouraged to apply.


The workshop is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Abstracts of the Main Lectures

Lecture 1: Invariants of knots and links

We plan to review definitions of the Alexander polynomial using Kauffman states and grid diagrams. These approaches then lead to knot Floer homology; we sketch the definition of these groups.

Lecture 2: Knot Floer homology

We define knot Floer groups through grid diagrams, verify their main properties and apply these tools in solving some geometric problems, including the Milnor conjecture for torus knots.

Lecture 3: The Upsilon function of knots

Applying the appropriate version of knot Floer homology and some ideas from homological algebra, a function-valued knot invariant can be derived. This function can be conveniently used in the study of the smooth concordance group. We show some illustrative examples of such results.

Saturday Outing

An outing is planned for Saturday afternoon, after the conclusion of the Workshop program. In recognition of the fact that Grand Rapids was recently designated Beer City USA, this year's outing will consist of an excursion to several area microbreweries. The tour will be conducted by a local company that specializes in brewery tours. The outing will take place in the late afternoon and early evening of Saturday, June 16 and the cost will be approximately $40 per person, which includes transportation and beer tasting. Click here for more information and a tentative schedule. If you are interested, sign up on the registration form.


Fredric Ancel, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Greg Friedman, Texas Christian University
Craig Guilbault, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Molly Moran, Colorado College
Eric Swenson, Brigham Young University
Frederick Tinsley, Colorado College
Nathan Sunukjian, Calvin College
Gerard Venema, Calvin College

Local Contacts

Contact Gerard Venema (send email to Gerard) or Nathan Sunukjian (send email to Nathan) if you have questions about the workshop or comments on this web site.