Erica Flapan

Erica Flapan (born August 14, 1956) is an American mathematician, the Lingurn H. Burkhead Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College.[1]

Education and career

Flapan did her undergraduate studies at Hamilton College (New York), graduating in 1977,[2][3] and went on to graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning a Ph.D. in 1983 under the supervision of Daniel McMillan.[4]

After postdoctoral studies at Rice University and the University of California, Santa Barbara she joined the Pomona faculty in 1986.[2][3] Flapan's research is in low-dimensional topology and knot theory.


She has published numerous papers, as well as worked on four books.[3]

  • She is the author of the book When Topology Meets Chemistry: A Topological Look at Molecular Chirality (Cambridge University Press and Mathematical Association of America, 2000).[3]
  • In 2009, Flapan edited the book Applications of Knot Theory along with Dorothy Buck.[5]
  • With James Pommersheim and Tim Marks she also wrote the book Number Theory: A Lively Introduction with Proofs, Applications, and Stories (John Wiley & Sons, 2010).[3]
  • In December 2015, she published a "fun" introductory topology textbook, Knots, Molecules, and the Universe: An Introduction to Topology.[6]


In 2011, Flapan was one of three winners of the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, from the Mathematical Association of America.[3][7] In 2012 she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society,[8] and in the same year as part of the bicentennial of Hamilton College was honored with a Hamilton Alumni Achievement Medal.[9] In recognition of her devotion to mentoring, Flapan won the M. Gweneth Humphreys Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics in 2018.[10]


  1. Faculty listing, Pomona Mathematics Dept., retrieved 2013-01-22.
  2. Curriculum vitae, retrieved 2013-01-22.
  3. Award citation, January 2011 Prizes and Awards, MAA, retrieved 2013-01-22.
  4. Erica Flapan at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. , AMS Bookstore, retrieved 2014-07-18.
  6. "Knots, Molecules, and the Universe: An Introduction to Topology". Amazon. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  7. Halmo award recipients, MAA, retrieved 2013-01-22.
  8. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-21.
  9. Hamilton Alumni Achievement Medals Archived 2014-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, Hamilton College, retrieved 2013-01-22.
  10. "Humphreys Award 2018". Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). Retrieved 2019-11-05.