List of Links in Lecture

VERSION OF OCTOBER 22, 1996

CHAOS AND COMPLEX NUMBERS

I would like to express my gratitude to the college and to Dean Goldenberg for the great honor of being appointed to this Collegiate Chair.

When I was asked to name the chair after a suitable former faculty member, the task was very easy. In fact, Frederick William Gehring was the first name that came to my mind. And I was very happy that he consented in me using his name.

Frederick Gehring just recently retired from the Mathematics Department where he is now T. H. Hildebrandt Distinguished University Professor Emeritus. The fact that he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences shows how highly his peers think of him.

Fred was born in Ann Arbor on August 7, 1925. His grandfather was a physicist at the University of Michigan and both his parents graduated from here. Fred moved some back and forth but was basically raised in Ann Arbor. He did get his Bachelor Degree from the University of Michigan in 1946. After this he went on to Cambridge, England where he met his now wife, Lois. He received his Ph. D. there in 1952. After 3 years at Harvard as Pierce Instructor, he returned to the University of Michigan where he has been since 1955.

In the midst of being a very active researcher, he still managed to find time to advise many students. He is known for the personal care that he took (and takes) of each of them) and for his ties with many different international math communities, in particular the Finnish school of complex analysis.

Most of all I would like to thank my colleagues in the Mathematics Department for supporting my nomination.

The origin of this University dates back to Judge Woodward.

He was known as a man with a vivid imagination. He wrote the book

"A System of Universal Science"

where he introduced all sorts of exotic terminology. In particular his name for University was

I found his approach quite refreshing. I think us serious scientists could need to do some more of this kind of free-wheeling thinking. So Judge Woodward should inspire us all to have a fresh look at the big picture:

Some other Free-Wheelers

DESCRIPTION OF WORK

In this lecture I will, inspired by our founder, Judge Woodward, try to convey my vision of my work as it fits into a bigger context, something like a System of Universal Science. When I discuss more technical material I will focus on one very specific aspect to minimize the technicalities. Since I am a complex analyst, I will center the technical aspect around the basic ingredient in the subject,

the imaginary or complex number i.

I will give some indication how this concept and the branch of Mathematics, complex analysis, founded on it, fits into science. This concept, , lies beneath the work of several of my colleagues, including Fred.