News Releases
California State University, Sacramento

Posted: February 5, 1999


Alumnus Solves Classic Math Problem, Plans First Presentation at CSUS


California State University, Sacramento alumnus Vladimir N. Akis will visit his alma mater to present, for the first time, his solution to a 75-year-old math problem that was considered the most interesting puzzle in plane topology.

The presentation will be 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in Mendocino 1015. Akis has succeeded in generalizing Brouwer's fixed-point theorem, which shows that on every disk (filled circle) at least one point remains in place no matter how the disk is bent, folded, twisted or otherwise continuously transformed (it can't be torn or cut). Brouwer's theorem is vital in the mathematical study of mappings C but has also been used to prove the fundamental theorem of algebra and to establish the existence of equilibrium points in an economy.

Since it was developed by L. E. J. Brouwer, who many call the founder of topology, mathematicians have tried to extend the theorem to every plane continuum that does not separate the plane (such as arcs, partially severed disks and countless other intricate figures).

Akis solved the problem with a combination of variation theory, complex analysis and differential topology. The solution was announced in mid-January at the American Mathematical Society's meeting in San Antonio by Akis' mentor and CSUS math professor Charles Hagopian.

AMS Secretary Robert Daverman called it the best result of 1998.

Akis is a professor of mathematics at CSU Los Angeles. He earned his bachelor's degree from CSUS, master's degree from UC Berkeley, and doctoral degree in a joint program between CSUS and UC Davis.

More information is available by contacting the CSUS mathematics/statistics department at (916) 278-6534 or public affairs office at (916) 278-4378.

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For further information send E-Mail to: infodesk@csus.edu.

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