Ismar Volić

ivolic@wellesley.edu

(781) 283-3103
Mathematics
B.A., Boston University; M.A., Ph.D., Brown University
Science Center 370



Ismar Volić
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Research in algebraic topology, specifically calculus of functors and its applications to embeddings, including knots and links.


My area of research is algebraic topology, and more specifically calculus of functors. I have been applying this theory to the study of the rational homotopy type spaces of embeddings, and in particular to spaces of knots, links, and braids. I have also been trying to generalize finite type knot invariants to various embedding spaces, define multivariable manifold calculus and apply it to links and braids, and investigate Milnor invariants from the functor calculus viewpoint. I am also a coauthor of a monograph on homotopy theory of cubical diagrams that underlie calculus of functors as an important technical tool.

I enjoy teaching across the curriculum, and am fortunate to have taught a variety of classes at Wellesley, including topology, abstract algebra, Galois theory, number theory, combinatorics, and others. I also designed classes on algebraic geometry, cryptography, and group actions and supervised independent studies and senior theses on Hochschild homology, differential geometry, math behind Google, differential equations, knot theory, and other topics. 

In recent years, the mathematics department has been redesigning and strengthening its curriculum and has as a result succeeded in recruiting more majors and sending more students to excellent graduate programs in mathematics. I am fortunate to be a member of the faculty at this time since my own professional goals coincide with this effort. I strive to blend the research and teaching parts of my job by introducing undergraduates to research mathematics. Teaching special topics courses, bringing mathematicians to give talks, supervising independent studies, summer research, and honors theses are just some of the ways in which I try to convey to our students that mathematics is a vibrant, exciting research field.


Upcoming Events

Monday, Nov 10

The weekly student seminar meets today, with Snow Zhang giving a presentation called "The Diagonalization Theorem and Undecidability."  We will meet in SCI362 at 12:25 for lunch, and then move to SCI364 for the talk around 12:40.

Wednesday, Nov 12

The math department hosts its next colloquium, where the speak is Cornelia Van Cott from the University of San Francisco.  Her talk is "Sometimes Pi equals 4."  We will serve refreshments in 362 from 3:45 to 4:15, then move to room 396 for the talk at 4:15.  

Monday, Nov 17

The weekly student seminar meets today, with Lulu Ye giving a presentation.  We will meet in SCI362 at 12:25 for lunch, and then move to SCI364 for the talk around 12:40.

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