Representations of the Braid Groups (video)

Honorable Mention
Nancy Scherich
Mathematics (Graduate Student)


Behind the Math of Dance your PhD:

Representations of the Braid Groups Mathematics brought to life...with dance! This film follows several dancing ‘braids’ on a dangerous adventure to a new mathematical realm. This passionate story depicts the basic mathematical principals of ‘representation theory’, a process which encodes the tangles of braids into matrices. Expressing mathematics through dance helps us break the misconception that mathematics is dry and lifeless, when in reality mathematics is as beautiful and elegant as the dancers in this film.

ZOOMING IN On the surface, mathematics can seem rigid and colorless. But those who really look can see the deep beauty, elegance, and creativity with in mathematics. Let this video take you on a journey to view mathematics through the eyes of a mathematician. This aerial and contemporary dance interpretation describes the research of UCSB’s graduate student Nancy Scherich and her work with Representations of the Braid Groups. The main representation in the video wears a nametag that says Burau, n = 3. Burau is the name of a representation that is known to be faithful when n=3. Famously, no one knows if Burau for n = 4 is faithful or unfaithful, or rather, no one knows how many braids are in its kernel. My research is inspired by trying to answer this question for Burau n = 4.

Written and Created by Nancy Scherich
Directed and Filmed by Alex Nye
Produced by Steven Deeble
Choreographed by Nancy Scherich and Lauren Breese
Cover Poster made by Dean Morales
Music by Instrumental Core
Performers: Nancy Scherich, Eric Boesser, Lauren Breese, Corine Guichard, Abe Pressman, Kalenna Quarles, Claire Lindstrom, Marisa Allen, Olivia Davi, Beatrice Martino, Dean Morales, Ken Millett and Richard LeCoultre.
Set Designers: Nancy Scherich, Nancy Scherich Sr. and Emily Baker