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The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet.

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Jul 20, 2021

Lisa Piccirillo is a mathematician specializing in the study of three- and four-dimensional spaces. Her work in four-manifold topology has surprising applications to the study of mathematical knots.

Perhaps most notably, Piccirillo proved that the infamous Conway knot is not, quote-unquote, “slice.” For all other small knots, “sliceness” is readily determined, but this particular knot had remained a mystery since English mathematician John Conway presented it in the mid-1900s. After hearing about the problem at a conference, Piccirillo took only a week to formulate a proof, thus solving a 50-year old mystery.

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