FACES OF MATHEMATICS

Gwyneth Stallard

Dr Gwyneth Stallard

Open University

Gwyneth Stallard's work has made fundamental contributions to the theory of the dynamics of transcendental complex functions. She has made important discoveries concerning the dimension of Julia sets, and her insight and originality have established major results in the subject. Her work is characterised by the successful application of hard analytic techniques and, as she readily admits, by stubborness.

"I'm good at sticking at things. I don't see things as quickly as some people, but I'm fairly determined, and I'll get it out somehow. I probably do have a feel for which examples will work and trying them. For this stuff I've been doing, the papers have been very long, and it has been a question of really slogging it out and being quite careful with the estimates and things. That suits me: that's the sort of person I am, stubborn.

"To write it all down and prove everything rigorously you have to have pages and pages of arguments, but you can usually get a rough estimate out much more easily. I would be working on that much broader scale and getting a feeling for it and being pretty sure that this is going to work, and then comes that awful moment, when you realise that you have to write it all down carefully.

"I'm aware of being in an area where not that much has been done before, so you have a reasonable number of fairly interesting questions left to have a look at. It was quite satisfying having this dimension thing open and no-one having thought about it. It was really nice to feel that there were big questions there, just waiting to be looked at, really."

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