Sandy Ganzell

Mathematics and Computer Science, St. Mary's College of Maryland
18952 E Fisher Road, St. Mary's City, MD 20686

Welcome! My office is in Schaefer Hall, room 172. Come by any time. If the door's open, you're not interrupting. You can also schedule an appointment.
Contact me at 240-895-4371 or

Spring 2014

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My spring 2014 office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9–10. This semester I'm teaching FOM (section 1: MWF 12–1:10, section 2: 1:20–2:30) and Knot Theory (Tu/Th 2–3:50).

Math/CS Department

Here's what's happening around the department.

You can take an exam to get your infinity license! There's a 246 lecture at, um, 2:46. Also, Bling! Math club! CS Co-op! Putnam exam! Other things!


My main area of research is Geometric Topology, specifically 4-Manifolds and Knot Theory. I'm also interested in Geometric Group Theory and Combinatorial Games.

My classes

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Spring 2014: I'm teaching FOM (section 1: MWF 12–1:10, section 2: MWF 1:20–2:30, both in Schaefer 132) and Knot Theory (Tu/Th 2–3:50 in Schaefer 134).

Fall 2014: I'll be teaching Linear Algebra (MATH 256) and Algebra I (MATH 321). Times, days, locations, textbooks and other information will be posted here as it becomes available.

My past courses (taught at SMCM, University of The Gambia, Pomona College and Rice University) are listed in my CV.

Course description for MATH 482: Topics in Mathematics, Spring 2014
Knot Theory: Knots are familiar objects. Yet the mathematical theory of knots quickly leads to deep results in Topology and Geometry, as well as applications in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. At the same time, there are many accessible open problems suitable for undergraduate research. Prerequisites: MATH 256 and MATH 281, plus one upper-level MATH course or permission of the instructor.

My Research

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My primary interest in mathematics is the subject of Topology. Within this field, my research focusses on Knot Theory and the Topology of 4-Manifolds. I'm also interested in Geometric Group Theory and Combinatorial Game Theory.

Students interested in doing research (or SMPs) in any of these areas should read (or at least skim) the linked Wikipedia pages and come see me. A course in Topology is helpful (but not essential) for studying Knot Theory. Algebra I is essential for studying Geometric Group Theory; Topology and Algebra II are essential for studying 4-manifolds.


Recent preprints can be found here. Links to all my papers (and publication info) are in my CV. Coauthors marked with an asterisk* were undergraduates when the research was conducted.

• New Bounds for Forbidden Numbers of Knots (E. Lehet*, C. Lopez*, G. Magallon*, and A. Thompson*).
Local Moves and Restrictions on the Jones Polynomial.
The Forbidden Number of a Knot (A. Crans and B. Mellor).
TWIST UNTANGLE and Related Knot Games (A. Meadows and J. Ross*).
UNTANGLE: Knots in Combinatorial Game Theory (A. Meadows).
Chirality vs. HOMFLY and Kauffman Polynomials (A. Kapp*).
Ends of 4-Manifolds.

Things happening around the department

Contact Me

Mailing Address

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
St. Mary's College of Maryland
18952 East Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686


240-895-4371 (my office)
240-895-4362 (office associate)
240-895-4996 (fax)

Email Address

Web Address

Office Location

Schaefer Hall room 172