Ohtsuki was my PhD supervisor and I was a student of Bar-Natan, so I know the “main players” well, and I also heard the discussion between Gauthier and others on Skype; I think we all understood just where the error was in Gauthier’s work, and there was no politics of powerful mathematicians.

He’s right that it wasn’t explained as well as it could have been, and this is remedied in subsequent work- e.g. the linked paper by Dancso. ]]>

https://sites.google.com/site/floerhomotopy2017/home ]]>

http://math.okstate.edu/research/conferences/381-fall-2016-redbud-triangulations-conference ]]>

It’s not clear how to use the fact that you’re on the unknot component to your advantage. Finding critical points of these energy functionals isn’t so easy. I’m probably going to give a related project to an undergrad — finding critical points of this functional, not on the unknot space, but on the space of a “big” satellite knot. There’s at least enough knowledge of the homotopy-type to get a sense for how to `cast the net’.

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