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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Seminar Archives

On this page you can find information about seminars in this and previous academic years, where available on the database.

Distinguished Lectures and Public Lectures: Mirzakhani’s starting point

Presented by Caroline Series, University of Warwick

24 February 2016 14:00 in CLC013


In 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani of Stanford University became the first women to be awarded the Fields medal. The starting point of her work was a remarkable relationship called McShane’s identity, about the lengths of simple closed curves on certain hyperbolic surfaces. The proof of this identity, including the Birman-Series theorem about simple curves on surfaces, uses only quite basic ideas in hyperbolic geometry which I will try to explain. We will then look briefly at Mirzakhani’s ingenious way of exploiting the identity and where it led.

Contact anne.taormina@durham.ac.uk for more information