Boston Graduate Topology Seminar


Boston is a city rich in mathematical resources. The Boston Graduate Topology Seminar is an initiative designed to enhance the sharing of these resources among the different institutions in town. The seminar is open to all, but is aimed specifically at bringing together graduate students in the Boston area working in geometry and topology (that said, faculty and postdocs are welcome and will be in attendance!). The main goals are:

  • to encourage interactions (and even collaborations) between area grad students, and between grad students and faculty from the various Boston schools,
  • to increase awareness of the sorts of math taking place around town (and, in so doing, to entice grad students to broaden their mathematical horizons),
  • to give area grad students more opportunities to speak about their research, and
  • to have fun (see post-seminar lunch)!


The seminar will meet roughly twice per semester at area schools including MIT, BC, Harvard, Brandeis, Tufts. Each meeting will take place on a Saturday morning, in the form of a sort of micro-conference, and will consist of three 45 minute talks. The first talk will be given by a Boston-area or visiting faculty member (or postdoc); the latter two, by Boston-area grad students (or recent grad students) about their research. Context and motivation will be emphasized in these talks, which should be accessible to students with a wide range of backgrounds in topology. We'll generally try to have a group lunch afterwards.


As one of the goals of the seminar is to help grad students become better presenters, one or more of the faculty in attendance will provide confidential, constructive feedback to the grad student speakers (as long as such feedback is desired).


The next meeting of this seminar will take place at BC on Saturday, February 22, from 9:30AM-12:15PM, with coffee and bagels starting at 9AM.

Spring 2020:

  • BC: Saturday, February 22
    • 9:30-10:15: Inanc Baykur (UMass Amherst)
    • 10:30-11:15: Corey Bregman (Brandeis)
    • 11:30-12:15: Mustafa Cengiz (BC)

Fall 2019:

Spring 2019:

Fall 2018:

Spring 2018:

Fall 2017:

Fall 2016:

For Speakers:

Your audience will comprise graduate students at all levels, with varied backgrounds in geometry and topology (though perhaps with a Floer-theoretic bias). As such, it is vital that you provide lots of context and motivation. Why is what you're talking about important? What are the interesting open questions in the field (learning about open problems can be very inspiring)? What are tractable problems for graduate students related to the main topic? Answering these kinds of questions leaves audience members more satisfied and interested, and with more valuable knowledge, than does rushing full-bore towards your main result. On a related note, sacrifice technical details if talking about them will lose the attention of large portions of the audience or obscure the main point or cause you to rush.


Anyone interested in giving a talk or learning more about the seminar should contact John Baldwin at


This seminar is partially supported by NSF CAREER Grant DMS-1454865.