John C. Mayer

Personal Data

Department of Mathematics

Tel. 205-934-2154

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Fax: 205-934-9025

Birmingham AL 35294


Professional Preparation

Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA


BA, 1967

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


MA, 1978

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Philosophy (Logic)

PhD, 1980

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


PhD, 1982

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada




Associate Chair, UAB

1997 present

Undergraduate Program Director, UAB

1996 present

Professor of Mathematics, UAB

1999 present

Graduate Program Director, UAB

1990 1996

Associate Professor, UAB

1990 1999

Assistant Professor, UAB

1984 1990.

Visiting Positions:



Spring, 1989

Virginia Tech

Winter, 1988

Lecturer in Mathematics, Saskatchewan

1982 84

Adjunct Assistant in Mathematics, Florida

Summers, 1982, 1985

Teacher, Academic Dean, and Principal, Brandon Hall, Atlanta, GA

1968 77

Selected Publications

1.      B. L. Brechner and J. C. Mayer, Antoine's necklace, or how to keep a necklace from falling apart, The College Mathematics Journal 19 (1988), 306 320. (George Polya Award, MAA, 1989.)

2.      J. C. Mayer, An explosion point for the set of endpoints of the Julia set of $\lambda\exp(z)$, Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems 10 (1990), 177 183.

3.      J. C. Mayer and L. G. Oversteegen, A topological characterization of R-trees, AMS Transactions 320 (1990), 395 415.

4.      J. C. Mayer, Complex dynamics and continuum theory, in the book Continua: with the Houston Problem Book, ed. H. Cook, et al., Lecture Notes in Pure and Applied Mathematics 170 (Marcel Dekker, NY, 1995), 133 158.

5.      A. M. Blokh, J. C. Mayer, and L. G. Oversteegen, Recurrent critical points and typical limit sets for rational maps, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc., 127 (1999), 1215 1220.

6.      J. Grispolakis, J. C. Mayer, and L. G. Oversteegen, Building blocks for quadratic Julia sets, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 351 (1999), 1171 1201.

7.      J. M. Malaugh, J. C. Mayer, and D. K. Parris, Distribution of centers of triangles, Preprint 1999, (undergraduate research paper presented at national MAA conference).

8.      J. C. Mayer and J. T. Rogers, Jr., Indecomposable continua and the Julia sets of polynomials, AMS Proceedings 117 (1993), 795 802.

9.      J. C. Mayer and J. T. Rogers, Jr., Indecomposable continua and the Julia sets of polynomials, II, in preparation, 2003.

10.   D. K. Childers, J. C. Mayer, H. M. Tuncali, and E. D. Tymchatyn, Indecomposable continua and the Julia sets of rational maps, in preparation, 2003.

Synergistic Activities

  1. Started and currently direct an accelerated program for undergraduate mathematics majors at UAB, called the Fast-Track Program. Lex Oversteegen and I have been co-directors of the Fast-Track Program since its inception in 1993. The program received NSF support 1996-2001 during its major growth period. The program aims to attract, support, and maintain the interest in mathematics of talented students coming right out of high school. Students in the program are expected to complete both a BS and MS degree in mathematics. Many go on to higher degrees in mathematics, the sciences, and the professions ( Students typically finish the program in 4-5 years, during which time they have been mentored in mathematics steadily, with a research project ongoing at all times. They attend special seminars, have shared office space in the department, and many receive attractive scholarships. For the past few years, we have typically had 15-20 students concurrently enrolled in the program at various levels. It is an integral part of the life of our department. The activity is ongoing (
  2. Mentoring GK-12 Teaching Fellows in an NSF-sponsored fellowship program bringing graduate students in mathematics and the sciences into K-12 classrooms working with K-12 students and teachers. Ongoing (
  3. Developing courses in mathematical modeling for mathematics majors and minors and pre-service and in-service mathematics and science teachers. One course (MA 261, Introduction to Mathematical Modeling) has been developed and is now institutionalized as a mathematics major requirement at UAB, also taken by pre- and in-service teachers. A second course aimed at middle school teachers is being developed. Some of this development work is joint with colleagues in the School of Education at UAB and with my current PhD students. Ongoing.

Collaborators and Other Affiliations

Recent Collaborators

Alexander Blokh (UAB)

Andrew Maner (Boeing)

Harold Bell (Cincinnati)

Lex G. Oversteegen (UAB)

Douglas Childers (UAB, PhD student)

James T. Rogers, Jr. (Tulane)

Robbert Fokkink (Delft)

Murat Tuncali (Nipissing)

James Malaugh (UAB, PhD student)

E. D. Tymchatyn (Saskatchewan)

Graduate and Post-doctoral Advisors

Philosophy PhD Advisor: Jay J. Zeman (Florida)

Mathematics PhD Advisor: Beverly L. Brechner (Florida)

Post-Doctoral Advisor: E. D. Tymchatyn (Saskatchewan)

PhD Thesis Advisor (Total: 3)

Andrew Maner, PhD 2000 (Boeing)

James Malaugh, PhD expected August 2003 (UAB)

Douglas Childers, PhD expected 2005 (UAB)


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