# Mathematics Colloquium Series

## Mathematics Department Colloquium Series

The Mathematics Department established the Mathematics Department Colloquium Series through a Faculty Development Grant in 1999 to provide a place to discuss new research in Mathematics. Speakers for the series come from both inside the UTC Department of Mathematics as well as guest speakers from other institutions. The Colloquium Series meets periodically throughout the year.

### Upcoming Colloquium Talks

**Speaker:** Philip Smith

Undergraduate Student

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

**Date: **Friday, November 19, 2021

**Time:** 2:00pm

**Location:** Lupton 393

**Title:** The second Vassiliev measure of Uniform random walks and polygons in confined space

*Abstract. *Biopolymers, like chromatin, are often confined in small volumes. Confinement has a great effect on polymer conformations, including polymer entanglement. Polymer chains and other filamentous structures can be represented by polygonal curves in 3-space. In this study, we examine the topological complexity of polygonal chains in 3-space and in confinement as a function of their length. We model polygonal chains by equilateral random walks in 3-space and by uniform random walks in confinement. For the topological characterization, we use the second Vassiliev measure. This is an integer topological invariant for polygons and a continuous function over the real numbers, as a function of the chain coordinates for open polygonal chains. For uniform random walks in confined space, we prove that the average value of the Vassiliev measure in the space of configurations increases as $O(n^2)$ with the length of the walks or polygons. We verify this result numerically, and our numerical results also show that the mean value of the second Vassiliev measure of equilateral random walks in 3-space increases as $O(n)$. These results reveal the rate at which knotting of open curves, and not simply entanglement, are affected by confinement.