UK Nonlinear News, August 1999

Euroconference in Mathematics on Crete: Holomorphic Dynamics (26 June - 2 July 1999)

By Andy Osbaldestin

I knew this was going to be a friendly meeting when I received an email from Christos Kourouniotis (one of the local organisers) inviting early arrivers to a barbecue at his house in Heraklion. This set the tone for a week in which some 60 participants enjoyed an academic gathering of the highest calibre at the Academic Vilage in Anogia in the centre of Crete. This purpose built conference venue is an ideal location for a meeting of this size. (In fact this was the largest ever meeting at this venue.)

Shaun Bullett (QMW) and Bill Harvey (King's, London) are to be congratulated for superbly executing their leading roles in the academic organisation. The meeting itself was chaired by Adrien Douady. The local organisers Kostas Athanassopoulos and Christos Kourouniotis were wonderful hosts organising everything down to the last detail with great efficiency.

Highlights of the meeting included lectures by Curt McMullen on the universality of the Mandelbrot set, and limit sets of Kleinian groups; a tour de force by Misha Lyubich on quadratic-like maps and renormalization; and a beautiful one-hour lecture by John Milnor on Sullivan's no wandering domains theorem. Other notable contribution were from John Hubbard on Thurston's characterization of rational functions, Bodil Branner on Holomorphic surgery, Adrien Douady on integrability of almost complex structures, and Kari Astala on quasi-conformality. Mitsu Shisikura gave the final lecture which was perhaps a pointer to the future in that it concerned higher-dimensional holomorphic maps.

There were two excursions during the week: an afternoon excursion to the city of Rethymnon, and a midday visit to Idha to see the cave where Zeus was hidden by his mother Rhea. Zeus was hidden because his father Cronus was in the habit of eating his children due to the prophecy that his youngest born would dethrone him. We didn't get off lightly either. On our return from this visit talks recommenced and carried on until 10:30 in the evening.

UK participants who spoke were

other UK participants were: Tan Lei (Warwick), S Velani (QMW), M Freiberger (QMW).

The meeting has a web page: from which further pages about the Anogia Academic Village can also be reached. It is expected that abstracts of all talks will be available there.

The participation of many younger scientists was facilitated with funds from the European Union TMR Programme.

Andy Osbaldestin.

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