Ty Ghaswala, Department of Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo
"Hairstyles for a Mathematician"
Besides being a useful hair taming technique, braids are also a beautiful object in mathematics. In this talk I will give a selective tour of the wonderful world of braids. We will explore some interesting mathematical nooks and crannies in which braids arise, focusing on a particular representation (the Burau representation) and its connection to knot invariants.