About Madeleine de Belloy
Madeleine studied how mathematical knots are sometimes conceptually depicted as mosaics, with small square tiles arranged within a larger square. Though all knots can be symbolized by a mosaic arrangement, some would require a lot of tiles and a very large table to put them on. Madeleine explored ways to predict which knots can fit on a table of a specific size.
Computing the Mosaic Number of Reduced and Non-Reduced Projections of KnotsView Poster
Madeleine de Belloy, 17, of Tiburon, helped untangle knot theory for her Regeneron Science Talent Search mathematics project. If you take a shoelace, tie a knot, and then glue the ends of the shoelace together, you get a knot that cannot be untied. Mathematicians care when one such knot can be turned into another. For her project, Madeleine studied mosaic depictions of these mathematical knots, in which the knots are represented by small square tiles inside a larger square, much like an artistic mosaic on a table. Though all knots can be symbolized by a mosaic, some would require a lot of tiles and a very large table to put them on. Madeleine explored ways to predict which knots can fit on a table of a specific size. She also showed that a famous knot, called the 83 knot, cannot be represented with 36 tiles arranged in a 6-by-6 square.
Madeleine, the daughter of Marisa Barbour de Belloy and Alexis de Belloy. attends Lycée Français de San Francisco. She has won a Gold Medal in the French Math Olympiad, and won a Google Play National Competition for a game she created that aims to make eating bugs fun, a cause she also champions through her climate-friendly food website Cool2Eat.
Beyond the Project
Madeleine took top honors for her seaweed burger business at a start-up competition.
FUN FACTS: Madeleine has French and American parents and considers herself equal parts French and American. She has lived in both countries and attends a French lycée in San Francisco. She also loves working with “Math en jeans,” a French math research program.