Category Archives: history

the shadow of the past

Peter Neumann’s 3p paper

In 1955, Helmut Wielandt published a paper proving the following theorem: Let G be a primitive permutation group of degree 2p, where p is a prime greater than 3, which is not doubly transitive. Then p = 2a2+2a+1 for some positive integer … Continue reading

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Peter Neumann memorial meeting

On Saturday, I was in Oxford for a memorial meeting for Peter Neumann, organised by Chris Hollings for the British Society for the History of Mathematics (of which Peter was a past president). It was a hybrid meeting, with half … Continue reading

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Joachim Neubüser

Another sad loss, with the death of Joachim Neubüser this week. He was the driving force behind the creation of the computer algebra system GAP. Even though I worked with John Cannon, the creator of the rival system Magma, I … Continue reading

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Clive Sinclair

Yesterday I read the news that Clive Sinclair has died. This brought back memories of my first encounter with personal computers nearly 40 years ago. At the time I had a demanding job and three small children, and I was … Continue reading

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The coincidence of Peter Neumann’s funeral and Eric Lander’s elevation in the last few days has inevitably made me think about family (in the mathematical sense). First, pictures of my aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, taken … Continue reading

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Memories of Peter Neumann

What follows are memories, and at my age my memory is not totally reliable, so don’t take any of this as absolute truth. But it is important to say that Peter was one of the kindest people. I owe him … Continue reading

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National Windrush Day

Today is National Windrush Day. I’d like to put on record (for what it’s worth) my wholehearted support and sympathy for the Windrush generation. Although I have never suffered the ill-treatment meted out to some of the Windrush generation by … Continue reading

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The B. B. Newman Spelling Theorem

This is a guest post by Carl-Fredrik Nyberg Brodda, a recent Masters student at St Andrews and currently a PhD student at the University of East Anglia. The story has personal resonance for me, because it turns out that B. … Continue reading

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Alex Craik

Last month saw the death of Alex Craik, emeritus professor of mathematics at St Andrews. He spent most of his career here, working on fluid dynamics, and (latterly) on History of Mathematics. I didn’t know him very well, though he … Continue reading

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A puzzle

Last weekend we walked from Kinross to Falkland. Kinross is on the shore of Loch Leven (not the sea-loch of the same name on the west coast), which is drained by the River Leven (which flows into the Firth of … Continue reading

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