Interlocking Linkages

09/16/2008 - 12:15pm
09/16/2008 - 1:10pm
Julie Glass (California State University East Bay)

This talk will introduce the audience to some of the history and basic ideas used in the study of chains in the area of computational geometry. A chain is a collection of rigid bars connected at their vertices (also known as a linkage), which form a simple path (an open chain) or a simple cycle (a closed chain). A folding of a chain (or any linkage) is a certain reconfiguration obtained by moving the vertices. A collection of chains are said to be interlocked if they cannot be separated by foldings. This talk will explain some standard techniques using geometry and knot theory to address the problem of when linkages are interlocked. Finally, we will answer the question, “Can a 2-chain and a k-chain be interlocked?” This talk will be accessible to a broad audience.

Millikan 211