Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

College of Arts and Sciences

J. Elisenda Grigsby

department of mathematics

J. Elisenda Grigsby photo

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
A.B. Cum Laude, Harvard University


Honors and Awards

  • National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University
  • Board of directors, Girl’s Angle (

I study the topology of 3- and 4-dimensional manifolds, objects whose local structure is modeled on standard Euclidean 3-dimensional (resp., 4-dimensional) space. The field of topology is concerned with those properties of a space that remain unchanged when the space is stretched or pinched without tearing or gluing. In recent years, the study of low-dimensional manifolds has been transformed by an influx of ideas from physics, namely gauge theory and quantum field theory. In essence, one studies a manifold by associating to it some auxiliary space (e.g., the space of solutions to a collection of differential equations) from which topological information about the original space is more easily extracted. My research focuses on using these new tools to address classical questions in low-dimensional topology: for example, when are two knots equivalent (when are two smoothly imbedded circles in 3-dimensional Euclidean space homotopic through smooth imbeddings)?

Selected publications

  • On the colored Jones polynomial, sutured Floer homology, and knot Floer homology, with S. Wehrli, Advances in Mathematics, to appear
  • Grid diagrams for lens spaces and combinatorial knot Floer homology, K. Baker and M. Hedden, Int. Math. Res. Notices (2008), 39 pp.
  • Knot concordance and Heegaard Floer homology invariants in branched covers,
    with D. Ruberman and S. Strle, Geometry and Topology 12 (2008), pp. 2249-2275
  • Knot Floer homology in cyclic branched covers, Algebraic and Geometric Topology, 6 (2006) 1355-1398