MA3F2, Knot Theory
Winter 2009

Course Description

"A knot may be regarded as a continuous loop of (thin rubber) string. There are two fundamental problems: Is the loop really knotted? When is a loop got from another by continuous deformation? The problem is tackled by computing invariants. If for instance we have a computable way to assign invariant numbers to knots then two knots with different numbers can not be equivalent. Another approach is to look at the topology of the complement of the knot. Can we find a surface with the knot as boundary? What properties does it have?" (Taken from the pink booklet.)


The schedule has a list of topics, organized by lecture. Links to example sheets will be added as the term progresses.

Instructor and TA

Name Building/Office E-mail Phone Office Hours
Saul Schleimer 35/B2.14 s dot schleimer at warwick dot ac dot uk 024 7652 3560 See webpage.
Sara Maloni N/A s dot maloni at warwick dot ac dot uk N/A N/A

Class meetings

Activity Led by Time Building/Room
Lecture Schleimer Monday 12-1pm 24/H0.52
Support class Maloni Tuesday 9-10am 35/MS.04
Lecture Schleimer Tuesday 1-2pm 35/MS.01
Lecture Schleimer Friday 1-2pm 35/MS.01
Support class Maloni Friday 2-3pm 35/B3.01

Reference materials

We will be closely following Professor Sanderson's lecture notes. The entire set of notes can be downloaded in PDF format.

This course has no set text. However, the books The knot book, by Colin Adams and An introduction to knot theory, by W.B. Raymond Lickorish may be useful. The MathStuff website for the course may also be useful.

Example sheets

See the schedule for the example sheets. Professor Sanderson's example sheets will also be useful. Notice that his example sheets actually have more examples than mine! The same link leads to written solutions, as well.


The exam will be closed book. I'll post the time and place on the schedule. Sanderson's exams can be found on Sanderson's website and on Mathstuff. Here is a link to the 2008 exam.


There will be no assessed work for this class other than the exam.


Please tell me in person, or via email, about any errors on this website or made in class. I am especially keen to hear about mathematical errors, gaffes, or typos appearing in the lecture notes.