Sarah Rasmussen

Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road
Cambridge CB3 0WB
United Kingdom

Office: CMS E1.04
Phone: (+44) 1223 764270
Email: S.Rasmussen


2017-18 Part III 3-manifolds (Lent).
2016-17 Part III Differential Geometry: Examples Classes.
2015-16 Part II Algebraic Geometry: Supervisions.


I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics (DPMMS) at the University of Cambridge. This allows me to study fun questions in low dimensional topology and geometry. I am particularly interested in relationships between Heegaard Floer theory and various non-gauge-theoretic structures in 3 and 4 dimensions, such as left-invariant fundamental group orders, taut foliations, tight contact structures, and complex surface singularities. My original training was in mirror symmetry and string theory, and I am still a fan of both.

Career Path

Due to an unusual career trajectory, I am an old human but a young postdoc.
After double-majoring in mathematics and physics and applying to graduate schools in both fields, I started September 2000 as a PhD student in theoretical physics at Stanford, but with a deferred position as a PhD student in pure mathematics at Harvard. I proceeded to spend 2 years in physics departments (one at Stanford and one as a visitor in the string theory group at Rutgers) and 2 years at Harvard math before falling victim to a colossally stupid burn accident, which required two years of recovery before I was cognitively able to do math again. Thus, it was not until 2006 that a Park City Mathematics Institute summer school seduced me, against my best intentions, into becoming a low dimensional topologist and studying with Zoltán Szabó at Princeton. I graduated from Harvard 3 years later in 2009, minus several months with hyperemesis and a year of full-time maternity leave. After graduation I devoted the next 5 years to full-time motherhood of 1.6 kids, amortized.
I started my first postdoc in October 2014 at Cambridge. More recently I was awarded an EPSRC Fellowship, and I am now able to take on PhD students.

Invited Talks

Regensburg, Germany: Workshop on Gauge theory and topological applications, 23-27 July 2018 (upcoming).
Princeton University, USA: Mini-conference on low-dimensional topology, 21-22 June 2018 (upcoming).
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Geometric structures on 3 and 4 manifolds, 11-15 June 2018 (upcoming).
Royal Society, UK: Interview for Royal Society DH Fellowship, 13 June 2018 (upcoming).
Oxford University, UK: Topology Seminar, 4 June 2018 (upcoming).
Montréal, Canada: Perspectives on bordered Heegaard Floer theory school, 8-11 May 2018.
Montréal, Canada: Simons CRM Invited Scholar in Residence 1 Apr - 30 May 2018.
Aspen, CO, USA: Physics cafe: "Knots and physics" public outreach talk, 7 Mar 2018.
Aspen, CO, USA: Quantum knot homology and supersymmetric gauge theories conference, 4-10 Mar 2018.
Swindon, UK: Presentation for EPSRC Fellowship (Fellowship awarded), 23 Jan 2018.
Warwick, UK: Geometric topology in low dimensions workshop, 18-22 Sept 2017.
Braga, Portugal: XXVI International Fall Workshop on Geometry and Physics, 4-7 Sept 2017.
Oaxaca, Mexico: Thirty Years of Floer Theory for 3-Manifolds (BIRS), 30 July - 4 Aug 2017.
Isle of Skye, UK: Low-dimensional topology on Skye, 12-16 June.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich: Oberseminar Geometrie, 25 Apr 2017.
Georgia Tech & University of Georgia, USA: Joint Topology Seminar, 3 Apr 2017.
Washington University in St. Louis, USA: Colloquium and lecture series, 27-31 Mar 2017.
Rényi Insitute, Budapest: Algebraic Geometry and Differential Topology Seminar, 24 Feb 2017.
Newton Institute, UK: 3-Manifold Workshop, 30 Jan - 3 Feb 2017.
Durham University, UK: Pure Maths Colloquium, 21 Nov 2016.
Oberwolfach, Germany: Singularities Workshop, 25 Sept - 1 Oct 2016.
Glasgow, UK: 31st British Topology Meeting, 29-31 Aug 2016.
University of Oregon, USA: Topology/Geometry Seminar, 26 July 2016.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Ronsfest: Perspectives in topology and geometry of 4-manifolds, 6-10 June 2016.
University of Glasgow, UK: Geometry and Topology Seminar, 1 Feb 2016.
University of Cambridge, UK: Differential Geometry and Topology Seminar, 27 May 2015.


"L-space surgeries on satellites by algebraic links," arXiv:1703.06874.


"Heegaard Floer theory, semigroups, and a new characterization of rational surface singularities,"
Oberwolfach Reports: “Singularities,” 13 (3), 2652-2655 (2016). doi:10.4171/OWR/2016/46.

"L-space intervals for Graph Manifolds and Cables."
Compositio Mathematica, 153 (5), 1008-1049, 2017.

"Taut foliations on graph manifolds," with Jonathan Hanselman, Jacob Rasmussen, and Liam Watson.
To appear in Compositio Mathematica. arXiv:1508.05911.

"Floer Simple Manifolds and L-space Intervals," with Jacob Rasmussen.
Advances in Mathematics, 322 (2017) 738-805. arXiv:1508.05900.


"A number theoretic result for Berge's conjecture,"
Harvard University PhD Thesis, 2009,
125 pp. ISBN: 978-1109-25330-6, ProQuest LLC, arXiv:1601.03430.