My name is Tynan Kelly. I grew up in the Reno area and attended the University of Nevada, Reno for my undergraduate studies. I didn’t initially major in mathematics, (I spent a lot of time in the music department playing saxophone in the jazz bands and doing some music composition), but I kept taking math classes along the way and eventually fell in love with mathematics. After finishing my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at UNR, I moved to the Boston area to attend Brandeis University for my Ph.D., which I received in 2015. That fall, I returned home to Reno as a full time faculty member at my alma mater. My main focus is teaching mathematics, ranging from introductory calculus courses to advanced math courses for majors.
My research interests are in a field of mathematics called topology, specifically knot theory. Mathematical knots are a lot like the knots you might tie in a rope or shoelace, but with the ends joined together so it can’t be untied. One of the main goals of studying knots is to be able to distinguish between two knots, which in general is a difficult problem to solve. Knot theorists use invariants to answer this question; that is, we try to associate some sort of value or object to the knot that does not change when the knot is modified in a way that doesn’t intrinsically change the knot (for example, stretching and twisting is OK, but cutting and gluing is not). Knot theory is a fun and vibrant area of mathematics and has broad implications in other fields, especially in the behavior of 3- and 4-dimensional spaces.
Outside of teaching and doing mathematics, I like listening to podcasts (usually in the sports or technology genres), hanging out with my wife and dogs (we have two very cute French bulldogs named Zoey and Luna), and attending Nevada basketball games.