Matthew (Matt) Ryan and is a student at the University of Adelaide undertaking a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Advanced) near the end of his second year of study. Matt has a keen interest in mathematics and intends to major in both pure mathematics and statistics as of next year. The main area of study of interest to Matt falls in Differential Geometry and Analysis with smaller interests in statistical analysis and group theory.
Knots And Sticks
Knot theory is an important area of mathematics which is rarely covered in undergraduate courses. The plan for this research would be to learn some basic knot theory using the book by Adams (The Knot Book) and the software KnotPlot for which the School has a site license. Once the basics are understood the idea of the stick number of a knot, which is the smallest number of rigid sticks needed to make up a knot, will be focused on as the key research topic for this project. There are many open questions about stick numbers given in the book which will be potentially accessible to research and will be focused on in this project.