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    • Our speaker for the Seventh Annual Distinguished Morley Seminar was Professor Gwyneth Stallard, OBE, Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University. The Seminar was held on Wednesday 23rd October 2019.

Title: The beauty of fractals

Abstract: In this talk we discuss the fascinating structure of geometrical objects known as fractals, beginning with classic fractal sets such as Cantor sets and the von Koch snowflake.  We will then explore fractals which arise as Julia sets in the subject of complex dynamics.  These are sets on which the iterates of a function behave chaotically and they have structures such as a Cantor bouquet and an infinite spider’s web.  Major advances in complex dynamics have often come from applications of powerful techniques in topology and complex analysis, and have also led to new results in complex analysis with wider applications.

Gwyneth Stallard, OBE, Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University

Gwyneth read mathematics at King’s College, Cambridge finishing in 1985 and earned her PhD from Imperial College London in 1991. When Gwyneth became a Professor of Mathematics at the Open University, she became the first woman to be a professor in the department. Her research is in the area of complex dynamics and concerns the iteration of transcendental meromorphic functions; she is particularly interested in the possible dimensions of the Julia set and in the structure of the escaping set. She was awarded the Whitehead Prize in 2000.

Gwyneth has a long standing interest in the issues surrounding women’s careers in mathematics and chaired the London Mathematical Society’s Women in Mathematics Committee from 2006 to 2015. This work was recognized by the award of an OBE in 2015. In 2016, she was honoured as part of the Suffrage Science Scheme and was among 12 women receiving awards to celebrate their scientific achievements in maths and computing, and their ability to inspire others.

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