Keiko Kawamuro, a faculty member in the University of Iowa Department of Mathematics, has received an NSF award for her project entitled, "Variations of Right-Veering Open Books and Knot Positivity".

The project will advance the interaction of the theory of knots and links and contact topology, two significant subjects in Geometry and Topology. The project will progress the study of braids that has numerous applications to Algebraic Geometry, Operator Algebras, Homotopy Theory, Robotics, Cryptography, Geometry, and Topology.

The fundamental issue the project seeks to address is a diagrammatic way to detect tight/overtwisted of contact structures. The proposed Topology Seminar activity will elevate the morale and research level of the Topology group of 20 students and faculty at the University of Iowa. Some of the projects will be part of a Ph.D thesis of the PI’s minority graduate students (two women and two Hispanic) who are expected to be leading mathematical researchers and math professors in the U.S. The Kids Topology Club will benefit young Iowans who have the potential to contribute to STEM research in the U.S.