About Lars Ahlfors (1907-1996) and Lipman Bers (1914-1993)
Beginning in the 1950’s mathematicians working in the area of quasiconformal mapping and Teichmüller theory began to hold periodic conferences. These conferences served to bring together mathematicians working in this and closely related areas to discuss the latest developments in the field and to set the agenda for the future directions. Conference proceedings were always published.
The first conference following the death of Lipman Bers was titled The Bers Colloquium and met in 1995 at the CUNY Graduate Center. It featured lectures of mathematicians like Cliff Earle, Peter Jones, Curt McMullen, Dan Mostow, Louis Nirenberg and Dennis Sullivan.
Following the death of Lars Ahlfors the Colloquium was renamed to the Ahlfors-Bers Colloquium (AB for short). The AB Colloquium first met at SUNY-Stony Brook in 1998 and featured talks by Francis Bonahon, Phillip Griffiths, Lennart Carelson, Daryl Cooper, Hershel Farkas, Brian Green, Dennis Hejhal, Nikola Lakic, Feng Luo, Yair Minsky, and Scott Wolpert.
The Second Ahlfors-Bers Colloquium met at the University of Connecticut in 2001. The plenary speakers were Jeff Brock, Ken Bromberg, Alice Chang, Dick Canary, Alex Eremenko, Juha Heinonen, Misha Kapovitch, Howard Masur, Vladimir Markovic, Oded Schramm, Caroline Series, and Ed Taylor.
The Third Ahlfors-Bers Colloquium met in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan in 2005. The plenary speakers were Ian Agol, Kari Astala, Christopher Bishop, Mario Bonk, Daniel Calegari, Steve Kerckhoff, Yair Minsky, Maryam Mirzakhani, Mary Rees, Juan Suoto, Paul Sabatier, and Martin Traziet.
The Fourth Ahlfors-Bers Colloquium in May 2008 was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Rutgers Research Council, the Graduate School-Newark, the Newark Chancellors Office, the FASN Dean’s Office and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Rutgers – Newark.