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John Franks

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley



B.A., 1965, Rice University,

M.A., 1968, University of California at Berkeley,

Ph.D., 1968, University of California at Berkeley


Henry S. Noyes Professor in Mathematics, 2008--,

Northwestern University Professor, 1978--,

Northwestern University Associate Professor, 1973--78,

Northwestern University Assistant Professor, 1970--73,

Northwestern University C.L.E. Moore Instructor, 1968-70,

M.I.T. John Franks is the Henry S. Noyes Professor of Mathematics.

He is the author of more than 80 mathematics research articles and has directed about 25 Ph.D. theses. John joined the Northwestern faculty in 1970 and has been on the faculty since that time. He was Chair of the Mathematics Department from 2006 to 2009. Currently John serves as Senior Dean for Faculty Affairs in WCAS, which is a "rotating" held successively by tenured WCAS faculty. In this role he deals with a range of administrative issues pertaining to the faculty and is a primary liaison between department chairs and the WCAS Dean's office for matters related to faculty.

Selected Publications

  1. J. Franks. Flow equivalence of Subshifts of Finite Type, Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems 4 (1984), 53--66.
  2. J. Franks. Recurrence and Fixed Points of Surface Homeomorphisms. Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, 8*:99--107, 1988,
  3. J. Franks. Generalizations of the Poincaré-Birkhoff Theorem. Annals of Math., 128:139-151, 1988.
  4. J. Franks. Geodesics on \(S^2\) and periodic points of annulus homeomorphisms. Inventiones Math., 108:403--418, 1992.
  5. J. Franks and P. Le Calvez: Regions of Instability for non-twist maps, Theory and Dynamical Systems, 23 (2003) 111-141.
  6. J. Franks and M. Handel: Distortion Elements in Group actions on surfaces Duke Math. Jour. 131 (2006) 441-468.
  7. J. Franks and M. Handel: Global fixed points for centralizers and Morita's Theorem, Geometry and Topology, 13 (2009) 87--98.
  8. J. Franks and M. Handel: Entropy zero area preserving diffeomorphisms of \(S^2\) Geometry & Topology 16 (2012) 2187--2284.
  9. J. Franks and M. Handel: Triviality of some representations of \(MCG(S_g)\) in \(GL(n,{\mathbb C}), Diff(S^2)\) and \(Homeo({\mathbb T}^2)\) Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 141 (2013), no. 9, 2951--2962.
  10. J. Franks and M. Handel: Centralizers and other virtually abelian subgroups of \(\text{Symp}^{\omega}_{\mu}(S^2)\). arXiv:1204.3961v1 [math.DS], accepted by Jour. Modern Dynamics.
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