John H. Hubbard

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John Hamal Hubbard
Hubbard at Oberwolfach
Born (1945-10-06) October 6, 1945 (age 71)
Residence Ithaca, NY
Institutions Cornell University (current), Harvard University
Alma mater Université de Paris-Sud
Harvard University
Thesis Sur Les Sections Analytiques de La Courbe Universelle de Teichmüller (1973)
Doctoral advisor Adrien Douady
Doctoral students Sarah C. Koch
Dierk Schleicher

John Hamal Hubbard was born on October 6 or 7, 1945 (the actual date is unknown). He is an American mathematician who is currently a professor at Cornell University and the Université de Provence. He is well known for the mathematical contributions he made with Adrien Douady in the field of complex dynamics, including a study of the Mandelbrot set. One of their most important results is that the Mandelbrot set is connected.


Hubbard graduated with a Doctorat d'État from Université de Paris-Sud in 1973 under the direction of Adrien Douady; his thesis was entitled Sur Les Sections Analytiques de La Courbe Universelle de Teichmüller and was published by the American Mathematical Society. Hubbard has a variety of mathematical interests ranging from complex analysis to differential geometry. He has written many influential papers on complex dynamics,[1][2][3] and he has written several books.


In 2006, he has completed another: the first volume of a series devoted to Teichmüller theory and applications to four revolutionary theorems of William Thurston. Hubbard is a former student of Harvard University's infamous Math 55, where he famously struggled initially because he "just didn't know proofs," a somewhat shocking fact considering his eventual mathematical success. He later returned to Harvard to teach that same class. However, Hubbard garnered a rather profound distaste for Math 55's method of teaching proofs largely centered on algebraic induction. In response, he wrote a book entitled Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms: A Unified Approach, on which his wife Barbara is listed as a co-author. At Cornell University, he routinely teaches Math 2230 & 2240, classes specifically structured around this same text. When asked how well these classes correspond to Math 55, he responded: "This class may indeed be somewhat easier than Math 55, albeit perhaps covering slightly more material."

Hubbard is known throughout the Cornell community for his very relaxed style of teaching. He often starts class late, after a period of conversing with students on a variety of more personal, informal topics, such as his hobby of collecting and purveying various local varieties of mushrooms found across campus, easily citing the given binomial nomenclature for each species.

Personal Life[edit]

He is married to Barbara Burke Hubbard, the science writer. Together they have a son, Alexander, and three younger daughters, Eleanor, Judith and Diana. The children sometimes help them with their books, in illustration, writing answer keys and pointing out the minor errors. [4]


  1. ^ Douady, Adrien; Hubbard, John Hamal (1985). "On the dynamics of polynomial-like mappings". Annales Scientifiques de l'École Normale Supérieure. 18 (2): 287–343. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  2. ^ Hubbard, John H; Oberste-Vorth, Ralph W. (1994). "Hénon mappings in the complex domain I : the global topology of dynamical space". Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS. 79: 5–46. doi:10.1007/bf02698886. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  3. ^ John H. Hubbard and Ralph W. Oberste-Vorth (1994) Henon mappings in the complex domain II: projective and inductive limits of polynomials
  4. ^ Hubbard, John; Hubbard, Barbara. Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms: A Unified Approach

External links[edit]