The beauty of fractals
10.15-11.00, Florence Nightingale Day, December 2015
Fractals are sets that have a very intricate structure and contain many copies of themselves at different scales. They are not easily described using classical geometry and so a new theory of fractal geometry has been developed. Such sets have attracted increasing attention in recent years, partly due to the development of striking computer graphics and partly due to a realisation that many natural phenomena such as cloud boundaries and coastlines are best approximated by fractals.
This talk will explore the nature of a variety of fractals, with particular interest in those arising through the repeated application of a function involving complex numbers - the theory of which is known as complex dynamics.
Gwyneth Stallard is a Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University where she has worked since 1994 following an undergraduate degree in maths at Cambridge University and a PhD at Imperial College in London. She has greatly appreciated the flexibility and support of the Open University and worked part time for many years following the birth of her two children. She was promoted to professor in 2009 and returned to full time work in 2011.
Her research is in the area of complex dynamics and was recognised by the award of the London Mathematical Society's Whitehead Prize in 2000. She has been Chair of the London Mathematical Society's Women in Mathematics Committee since 2006 and her work to support women in mathematics was recognised by the award of an OBE in the 2014 New Years Honours List.