Helen Wong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Mathematical Sciences


Office Hours

Monday 10-noon (only 10-am on 9/16, 9/30, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11, 11/25, 12/9 in Fall 2019)Wednesday 1:30-3:30pm
  • Biography
  • Education
  • Awards and Affiliations
  • Research and Publications

I am a mathematician working in the area of quantum topology, especially its relationships with hyperbolic geometry and non-quantum topology.  I am also very interested in applications of topology to the sciences.  

BA, Pomona College. PhD, Yale University.
  • von Neumann Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study 2017-18.

  • ​National Science Foundation Grants

    Standard Grant, RUI: Knots in Three-Dimensional Manifolds: Quantum Topology, Hyperbolic Geometry, and Applications (DMS-1906323), 2019-2022.

    Standard Grant, RUI: Skeins on Surfaces (DMS-1510453 and DMS-1841221), 2015-2019.

    Standard Grant, RUI: Relating Quantum and Classical Topology and Geometry (DMS-11522850), 2011-2016.

  • Project NeXT Fellow (green dot), Mathematical Association of America

  • Prize Teaching Award, Yale University

  • (with Erica Flapan and Adam He) Topological descriptions of protein folding. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (2019), no.19, 9360-9369.


  • (with Jennifer Franko Vasquez and Zhenghan Wang) Qubit representations of the braid groups from generalized Yang-Baxter matrices. Quantum Information Processing, Volume 15, Number 7 (2016), 3035-3042.

  • (with Francis Bonahon) Representations of the Kauffman bracket skein algebra I: Invariants and miraculous cancellations. Inventiones Mathematicae, Volume 204, Number 1 (2016), 195-243.

  • (with Francis Bonahon) The Witten-Reshetikhin-Turaev representation of the Kauffman bracket skein algebra. Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, Volume 144, Number 6 (2016), 2711-2724.

  • (with Martin Bobb, Stephen Kennedy and Dylan Peifer) The Kauffman bracket arc algebra is finitely generated. Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications, Volume 25, Number 6 (2016), 1650034, 14pp.

  • (with Francis Bonahon) Quantum traces for representations of surface groups in SL2. Geometry & Topology, Volume 15, Number 3 (2011), 1569-1615.

  • (with Nathan Dunfield) Quantum invariants of random Heegaard splittings. Algebraic & Geometric Topology, Volume 11, Number 4 (2011), 2191-2205.

  • SO(3) quantum invariants are dense in C. Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Volume 148, Number 2 (2010), 289-295.