Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Kathleen Alligood

Associate Dean

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Kathleen Alligood is the former Associate Dean of the Honors College and a Professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department. She came to George Mason as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in 1985 from faculty positions at Michigan State University and the College of Charleston, and an earlier job at the Federal Reserve Board. Prior to her career in mathematics, she was a professional violinist for a couple of years, before thinking better of it. This training, however, left her with admiration for friends and students who have chosen similar paths. In mathematics, she studied topology and geometry and was fortunate enough to work with excellent applied mathematicians who introduced her to problems she could actually explain to people. (See Research Section.) In 2006, she joined Zofia Burr to design an Honors College (then Honors Program) for a diverse population of talented students.


PhD, Mathematics, University of Maryland (1979)

MA, Mathematics, University of Maryland (1974)

BA, Mathematics, George Washington University (1970)

More Information

Appointment: Tenured

Faculty Rank: Professor


NSF Research Grants (1981 - 1985, 1987 – 1989)

DARPA Contracts (1985 – 1990)

NSF Contract for the Evaluation of the Math Sciences Partnership Program (2005 -2007)

In the study of parametrized systems of ordinary differential equations and nonlinear dynamical systems, Alligood identified topological or geometrical conditions which would guarantee the persistence of certain invariant sets as a system parameter is varied. Later, using techniques from topology, fractal geometry, and dynamical systems, she described and studied properties of chaotic systems: period-doubling cascades, crises of chaotic attractors, and fractal basin boundaries in systems with multiple attractors.