Oberlin College

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Kiss me, I'm an Obie: Day 25


Someone who fascinates you and why.

I am fascinated by my theory professor, Dr. Arnie Cox. He is a veritable genius! His class has been my favorite of all that I have taken here at Oberlin. Which is saying a great deal because I love all my classes.  I feel like his mind is always teaming with facts. The way he teaches theory is AMAZING. Yes, he talks about how music works and the parts that make it up, BUT on top of that he tells us why music has power over us as humans. Ever heard of Memetic Engagement? I hadn’t till I became one of his students. 

Sounds like an amazing professor to learn from. 

Filed under oberlin oberlin college oberlin conservatory Oberlin Conservatory of Music music professor memetic engagement music theory theory dr. arnie cox professor

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From Sneha Narayan ‘10:

"I am doing math research at the SMALL program at Williams College, with former Oberlin professor Allison Henrich. Oliver Pechenik, who is also an Oberlin student, is in my research group. The program is an NSF funded REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates).

We are working on something called Virtual Knot Theory. Knot Theory is what you’d expect it to be - you take a piece of string, knot it up however you like, and join the ends together again. There you go - that’s a knot, the way mathematicians study it at least. It turns out that they have some pretty cool mathematical properties hidden in them.

Virtual knots are special knots that are placed on crazy looking surfaces, and have a few additional properties that regular knots don’t (and don’t have some properties that we take for granted on regular knots).

Basically, we are trying to prove theorems about them, and eventually we will write up our results in the form of an academic paper. Besides math, we also do lots of fun stuff together, like going on hikes, playing Ultimate, watching movies, and cooking. It’s pretty great.

Here’s a picture of a virtual knot, and another picture that tells you the kinds of moves you can do on a virtual knot that don’t change its properties. In the attached picture with the moves on it, a) and b) are allowed, and c) is Forbidden. The crossings in the knot with the tiny circles around them are virtual crossings.”

Filed under math research knots theory