Tan Lei

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Tan Lei
Tan Lei.jpg
Tan Lei in Oberwolfach, 2008
Born(1963-03-18)18 March 1963
Died1 April 2016(2016-04-01) (aged 53)
EducationWuhan University (BA)
University of Paris-Sud, Orsay (MA)
University of Paris-Sud, Orsay (PhD)
Spouse(s)Hans Henrik Rugh
Scientific career
ThesisAccouplements des polynômes quadratiques complexes (1986)
Doctoral advisorAdrien Douady

Tan Lei (Chinese: 谭蕾; 1963–2016) was a mathematician specialising in complex dynamics and functions of complex numbers. She is most well-known for her contributions to the study of the Mandelbrot set and Julia set.[1]


After gaining her PhD in Mathematics in 1986 at University of Paris-Sud, Orsay, Tan worked as an assistant researcher in Geneva. She then conducted postdoctoral projects at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics and University of Bremen until 1989, when she was made a lecturer at Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in France. Tan held a research position at University of Warwick from 1995 to 1999, before becoming a senior lecturer at Cergy-Pontoise University. She was made professor at University of Angers in 2009.[2]

Mathematical work[edit]

Tan obtained important results about the Julia and Mandelbrot sets, in particular investing their fractality and the similarities between the two.[pub 1] For example she showed that at the Misiurewicz points these sets are asymptotically similar through scaling and rotation.[pub 2] She constructed examples of polynomials whose Julia sets are homeomorphic to the Sierpinski gasket[pub 3] and which are disconnected.[pub 4] She contributed to other areas of complex dynamics.[pub 5][pub 6] She also wrote some surveys and popularisation work around her research topics.[pub 7][pub 8]


A conference in Tan's memory was held in Beijing, China, in May 2016.[3]



  • Tan, Lei (1986). Accouplements des polynômes quadratiques complexes. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences (PhD). 302. Paris.


  • Tan, Lei, ed. (2000). The Mandelbrot Set, Theme and Variations. London Mathematical Society Lecture Note Series. 274. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521774765.


  1. ^ Local properties of The Mandelbrot set M, Similarity between M and Julia sets, Proceedings of the seventh European Women in Mathematics (EWM) meeting, Madrid, 1995, S. 71-82.
  2. ^ Similarity between the Mandelbrot set and Julia Sets, Communications in Mathematical Physics 134 (1990), pp. 587-617.
  3. ^ A Sierpinski carpet as Julia set, Appendix to: J. Milnor, Geometry and dynamics of quadratic rational maps, Exp. Math., volume 2, 1993, pp. 78-81
  4. ^ With K. Pilgrim: Rational maps with disconnected Julia set, Astérisque, volume 261, 2000, pp. 349-384
  5. ^ With G.-Zh. Cui: A characterization of hyperbolic rational maps, Invent. math., Band 183, 2011, S. 451-516.
  6. ^ With Xavier Buff: The quadratic dynatomic curves are smooth and irreducible, in: Araceli Bonifant, Misha Lyubich, Scott Sutherland (eds.), Frontiers in Complex Dynamics: In Celebration of John Milnor's 80th Birthday, Princeton University Press, 2014, S. 49-72.
  7. ^ With Xavier Buff and G.-Zh. Cui: Teichmüller spaces and holomorphic dynamics, in: Athanase Papadopoulos (ed.), Handbook of Teichmüller Theory, Volume 4, EMS 2014
  8. ^ With Arnaud Chéritat: Si nous faisons danser les racines? Un hommage à Bill Thurston , Images des mathématiques CNRS, 7 Nov. 2012


  1. ^ Chéritat, Arnaud (2012). "Tan Lei and Shishikura's example of non-mateable degree 3 polynomials without a Levy cycle". Annales de la Faculté des Sciences de Toulouse. Mathématiques. 21 (S5): 935–980. arXiv:1202.4188. doi:10.5802/afst.1358.
  2. ^ Yang Fei (2016). "Memory Diapos (pdf file in Chinese)". Département de Mathématiques d'Orsay. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  3. ^ Hans Henrik Rugh. "Memory Conference for Tan Lei Held in Beijing May 9–10, 2016". Département de Mathématiques d'Orsay (in French). Retrieved 5 May 2017.