Sierra Knavel


About Me

Graduate Student

School of Mathematics

Georgia Institute of Technology


I started at Georgia Tech in Fall 2020 and I am currently advised by Dr. John Etnyre. My research interests are in low-dimensional topology, specifically 4-manifolds and Lefschetz Fibrations. I am currently serving on the Grad Student Council in the Math Department and I am a co-organizer of the Geometry Topology Student Seminar held every Wednesday from 2-3pm. I am supported by the RTG Fellowship, the President's Fellowship, and as of Fall 2022 I am a Goizueta Fellow.

Teaching at Tech

I completed the Tech to Teaching program at Georgia Tech in Spring of 2022. In addition, I have a certification with distinction from CIRTL Network in An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching. I was a teaching assistant for the following courses:

  • Multivariable Calculus with Dr. Michael Lavigne, Fall 2021, Spring 2022
  • Multivariable Calculus with Santana Afton, Summer 2022
Most semesters I participate in the Directed Reading Program. The following are some of the projects I mentored:
  • (Fall 2022) Introduction to Topology and Algebraic Topology with Maya Mims
  • (Spring 2022) Chaos Theory with Mark Rodriguez and Matthew Walloch
  • (Fall 2021) Math and Physics Simulations in Python with Cara Bennett
  • (Spring 2021) Introduction to Knot Theory with Ethan Botelho
  • (Fall 2020) Self-Similar Fractals, Hausdorff Dimension and Geometry with Avery Williams
If you are an undergraduate at Tech interested in participating in the DRP, please send me an email.


B.S. Mathematics, Ohio University, May 2020


Research & Contributions

S. Knavel, R Trapp. Embedded totally geodesic surfaces in fully augmented links. Communications in Analysis and Geometry Volume 23, Number 4, 797–826, 2021

R. Bycofski, B. Klein, and S. Knavel. (2020, Release Jan 2.). The Pancake Problem. In, D. Auckly, B. Klein, A. Serenevy, and T. Shubin (Eds.) Inspiring Mathematics: Lessons from the Navajo Nation Math Circles. Jointly published by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) as Volume 24 of the Math Circles Library.

S. A. Knavel, T. V. Savin, M. V. Mroz, M. E. Kordesch, C. N. Eads, J. T. Sadowski, and S. A. Tenney. A Mathematical Model of Solid-State Dewetting of Barium Thin Films on W(112). Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena. EDP Sciences, 2019.



Send me an email at sknavel3 (at) gatech (dot) edu


Send me an email at sknavel3 (at) gatech (dot) edu

My office is in Skiles Classroom Building 153