Winter School on Volume Conjecture, Chern-Simons Theory and Knot Contact Homology

December 14–18, 2015

IBS Center for Geometry and Physics, Pohang, South Korea

The aim of this winter school is to expose graduate students and junior researchers to the exciting recent developments induced by the interactions among knot theory, Chern-Simons gauge theory, hyperbolic geometry and contact topology.

Since the advent of E. Witten's definition of the Jones polynomial using Chern-Simons theory, there have been numerous related developments in the area of topological quantum field theory. In the past two decades, a connection has arisen to another mathematical pillar: W. Thurston's geometrization of 3 manifolds, especially hyperbolic geometry.

The volume conjecture, suggested by R. Kashaev, H. Murakami and J. Murakami, is the first conjectued connection to relate the colored Jones polynomial to hyperbolic volume. Moverover, the AJ conjecture, suggested by S. Garoufalidis and T. Le, describes a relation between this colored Jones polynomial and the A-polynomial, i.e. P SL(2, C) character varieties of the knot groups. On the other hand, it turns out that the A-polynomial can be refined to the augmentation polynomial in knot contact homology, which was introduced by T. Ekholm, J. Etnyre, L. Ng and M. Sullivan. Furthermore, a grand unifying picture containing all of these things, enhanced by categorified quantum invariants like Khovanov homology, was suggested by S. Gukov and other physicists.

The program will consist of four pedagogical lecture series, delivered by world-leading experts in these various fields: T. Ekholm, S. Garoufalidis, S. Gukov and R. Kashaev.

Financial support for local travel and accommodation will be available for all graduate students and post-doctoral participants.

Invited lecturers

  • Tobias Ekholm (Uppsala University)
  • Stavros Garoufalidis (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Sergei Gukov (California Institute of Technology)
  • Rinat Kashaev (Université de Genève)


  • Math. Bldg #404, POSTECH


  • Jaigyoung Choe (Korea Institute for Advanced Study)
  • Seonhwa Kim (IBS Center for Geometry and Physics)
  • Yong-Geun Oh (IBS Center for Geometry and Physics & POSTECH)


Online registration is available here until November 30, 2015.

Financial support is not available to those who didn't registered by the registration deadline.

How to get to POSTECH

Visit here for information about how to get to Pohang.

For the location of the conference site, click here for POSTECH Campus Map.

Lectures Schedule

December 14 (Mon) December 15 (Tue) December 16 (Wed) December 17 (Thu) December 18 (Fri)
09:00 – 10:00 Registration Registration
10:00 – 12:00 R. Kashaev T. Ekholm S. Garoufalidis S. Gukov S. Garoufalidis
12:00 – 14:00 Lunch Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 S. Garoufalidis S. Gukov R. Kashaev T. Ekholm
15:30 – 16:00 Break Break
16:00 – 17:30 S. Gukov R. Kashaev T. Ekholm

For the title and abstract, please click here.


To visit the website of the hotel, please click the name of the hotel.

POSCO Int'l Center Hotel Yeongildae Apple Tree Hotel Philos Hotel Benikea Hotel Pohang
Double Room 88,000 KRW 110,000 KRW 50,000 KRW 90,000 KRW 70,000 KRW
Twin Room 88,000 KRW 132,000 KRW 60,000 KRW 90,000 KRW 80,000 KRW
(1 person)
13,200 KRW 12,000 KRW free 14,300 KRW free
Distance from Venue 5 min. by walk 5 min. by car 10 min. by car 15 min. by car 15 min. by car
Contact +82-54-279-8500 +82-54-221-9452 +82-54-241-1234 +82-54-250-2000 +82-54-282-2700

* The above rate is as of April, 2015 (VAT included)

** The rate may vary


Please visit here and if you need to apply for the visa to attend the conference, please contact We would request a copy of your passport and up-to-date CV for review.