Knots to a Mathematician: Very short lectures on knots by various topologists.


  • 01: Braids and Knots (3 min. 6 sec.)
    Recorded in New York City, September 1990

  • 02: Symmetries in Knots(5 min. 34 sec.)
    Raymond Lickorish, Cambridge University. Recorded in Los Angeles, June 1990

  • 03: Knots Don't Cancel (3 min. 15 sec.)
    John Conway, Princeton University. Recorded in Princeton, March 1990

  • 04: Ribbon Knots (2 min. 14 sec.)
    Robion Kirby, University of California, Berkeley. Recorded in Berkeley, May 1990

  • 05: Knots to Narnia (6 min. 40 sec.)
    William Thurston, University of Caliornia, Berkeley. Bill died August 21, 2012. Recorded in Berkeley, March 1992

  • 06: Knots to Narnia - in classi (3 min.)
    William Thurston, University of Caliornia, Berkeley. Bill died August 21, 2012. Recorded in Berkeley, March 1992

  • 07: Knots and the Poincaré Conjecture (1 min. 20 sec.)
    Andrew Casson, University of California, Berkeley (Now at Yale University). Recorded in Berkeley, May 1990

  • 08: The Birth of the Jones Polynomial (3min. 52 sec.)
    Joan Birman, Columbia University. Recorded in New York City, September 1990 (Note: in these images, the left and right-hand trefoils are reversed.)

  • 09: The Knot on my Shirt (1 min. 54 sec.)
    Vaughan Jones, University of California, Berkeley. Recorded in Berkeley, March 1992

  • 10: Knots and Statistical Mechanics (4 min. 25 sec.)
    Vaughan Jones, University of California, Berkeley. Recorded in Berkeley, March 1992

  • 11: Knots in DNA Analysis (2 min. 38 sec.)
    Nicholas Cozzarelli, Department of Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley. Nick died on March 19, 2006. Recorded in Berkeley, May 1990 (Pam Davis assisted with the recording.)

  • 12: Topology of Kinetoplast DNA (2 min. 40 sec.)
    Sylvia Spengler, Program in Mathematics and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley. Recorded in Berkeley, May 1990

  • 13: Four Shoe Knots

  • 14: Knotted Texts

  • A Day in the Life of a Knot (12 minutes)
    1990, with Pam Davis.

  • Knots to a Mathematician