Person: Mcmullen, Curtis Tracy
Curtis McMullen is an American mathematician who was awarded the Fields Medal in 1998 for his work in complex dynamics, hyperbolic geometry and Teichmüller theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- During each of the summers from 1980 to 1985 McMullen undertook combinatorial research and computer programming at the IBM Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York.
- As he mentions in the above quote, McMullen spent the autumn of 1984 as a visitor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientiques, Bures-sur-Yvette near Paris.
- The problems which McMullen considered in his thesis had long been important.
- In his thesis McMullen produced such a procedure for polynomials of degree three, but showed that for degree greater than three no such iterative procedure existed.
- After completing his doctorate, McMullen spent the academic year 1985-86 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology having been appointed a C L E Moore Instructor in Mathematics.
- Let us mention two monographs written by McMullen.
- In 1998 McMullen received a Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin.
- Curtis T McMullen made a major advance, however, when he showed that it is possible to decide in part on the basis of the Mandelbrot set which associated dynamic system is "hyperbolic" and can therefore be described in more detail.
- McMullen's results were suspected already in the sixties, but nobody had previously been able to prove this exact characterization of the Julia set.
- In addition to the Salem Prize in 1991 and the Fields Medal he was awarded in 1998, McMullen had received a large number of other distinctions for his outstanding contributions.
- As the title of the talk suggests, there were many different areas of mathematics touched on by McMullen, including: Fermat's Last Theorem, Zeno's Paradoxes, hyperbolic and spherical geometry, the harmonic series, and tiling.
- Near the end of his talk, McMullen showed a path that a human could take to elude the lion and used results about infinite series to demonstrate the path's effectiveness.
- Many students sought out McMullen after his talk to ask questions, and some even asked for his autograph.
- McMullen explained many topological ideas in the conjecture, how it relates to the shape of the universe, and gave an overview of Grigori Perelman's proof of the conjecture.
- McMullen is not a dynamicist, not an analyst nor a geometer.
Born 21 May 1958, Berkeley, California, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Prize Fields Medal, Origin Usa
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive