Kenneth Falconer (mathematician)

Kenneth John Falconer FRSE (born 25 January 1952) is an English mathematician working in mathematical analysis and in particular on fractal geometry.[1][2] He is Regius Professor of Mathematics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews.[3]

Kenneth Falconer
Born (1952-01-25) 25 January 1952 (age 68)
Alma materKingston Grammar School, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Known for
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of St Andrews, Bristol University
ThesisProperties of Convex Sets and Functions Determined by Sectional Integrals (1979)
Doctoral advisorHallard Croft

He is known for his work on the mathematics of fractals and in particular sets and measures arising from iterated function systems, especially self-similar and self-affine sets. Closely related is his research on Hausdorff and other fractal dimensions. He formulated Falconer's conjecture on the dimension of distance sets and conceived the notion of a digital sundial.[2] In combinatorial geometry he established a lower bound of 5 for the chromatic number of the plane in the Lebesgue measurable case.

Falconer was born at Bearsted Memorial Maternity Hospital outside Hampton Court Palace.[2] He was educated at Kingston Grammar School, Kingston upon Thames and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1974 and completed his PhD in 1979 under the supervision of Hallard Croft.[4] He was a Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge from 1977–1980 before moving to Bristol University. He was appointed Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews in 1993 and was Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics from 2001-2004. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1998. He served on the Council of the London Mathematical Society from 2000-2009 including as Publications Secretary from 2006-2009.[1][2]

His recreational interests include long distance walking and hill walking. He was Chair of the Long Distance Walkers Association from 2000–03 and Editor of their journal Strider from 1987–92 and 2007-12.[1][5] He has twice climbed all the Munros as well as all the Corbetts.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Who's Who in Scotland". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "Kenneth Falconer's homepage at St Andrews University".
  3. ^ London Gazette announcement of Falconer's appointment
  4. ^ Kenneth Falconer at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ "Strider 40th Anniversary issue".
  6. ^ "Scottish Mountaineering Club, Munro Compleatists".

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Falconer, Kenneth (1985). The Geometry of Fractal Sets. Cambridge University Press.
  • Croft, Hallard; Falconer, Kenneth; Guy, Richard (1991). Unsolved Problems in Geometry. Springer.
  • Falconer, Kenneth (1997). Techniques in Fractal Geometry. John Wiley.
  • Falconer, Kenneth (2013). Fractals: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
  • Falconer, Kenneth (2014). Fractal Geometry: Mathematical Foundations and Applications (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

External linksEdit