On Monday July 23 2018 I gave a talk in the Geometry and Topology seminar at the University of Melbourne.

## A-infinity algebras, strand algebras, and contact categories

In previous work we showed that the contact category algebra of a quadrangulated surface is isomorphic to the homology of a strand algebra from bordered Floer theory. Being isomorphic to the homology of a differential graded algebra, this contact category algebra has an A-infinity structure. In this paper we investigate such A-infinity structures in detail. We give explicit constructions of such A-infinity structures, and establish some of their properties, including conditions for the nonvanishing of A-infinity operations. Along the way we develop several related notions, including a detailed consideration of tensor products of strand diagrams.

## Some pure mathematics and consciousness

In November 2017 I gave a talk to the Monash Consciousness Research Laboratory (Tsuchiya Lab). I talked about some pure mathematical ideas that have appeared in the literature on the frontiers of neuroscience and the study of consciousness — gauge theory, and category theory.

## Plane graphs, special alternating links, and contact geometry, Sydney Oct 2017

On Thursday October 5 2017 I gave a talk in the Geometry and Topology seminar at the University of Sydney.

## The Tutte polynomial and knot theory, Monash Sep 2017

On September 25, 2017 I gave a talk as part of the Bill Tutte centenary celebration at Monash University.

## Polytopes, dualities, and Floer homology

This article is an exposition of a body of existing results, together with an announcement of recent results. We discuss a theory of polytopes associated to bipartite graphs and trinities, developed by Kálmán, Postnikov and others. This theory exhibits a variety of interesting duality and triality relations, and extends into knot theory, 3-manifold topology and Floer homology. In recent joint work with Kálmán, we extend this story into contact topology and contact invariants in sutured Floer homology.

## Morse structures on partial open books with extendable monodromy

Joint with Joan Licata.

We extend the notion of Morse structure on an open book to extendable partial open books in order to study contact 3-manifolds with convex boundary.

## AustMS talk, December 2016

On 6 December, 2016, I gave a talk at the Austrlaian Mathematical Society Annual Meeting at ANU, Canberra. The talk was entitled “Strand algebras and contact categories”. Slides from the talk are available.

## Talks at Low-dimensional topology workshop, Oct-Nov 2016

In October-November 2016 I gave two talks at the MSI Workshop on Low-Dimensional Topology & Quantum Algebra at ANU, Canberra. Some slides are available.

## Strand algebras and contact categories

We demonstrate an isomorphism between the homology of the strand algebra of bordered Floer homology, and the category algebra of the contact category introduced by Honda. This isomorphism provides a direct correspondence between various notions of Floer homology and arc diagrams, on the one hand, and contact geometry and topology on the other. In particular, arc diagrams correspond to quadrangulated surfaces, idempotents correspond to certain basic dividing sets, strand diagrams correspond to contact structures, and multiplication of strand diagrams corresponds to stacking of contact structures. The contact structures considered are cubulated, and the cubes are shown to behave equivalently to local fragments of strand diagrams.