Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer
Henry Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer
2 August 1927
|Died||26 December 2018(aged 91)|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Known for||Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture|
|Awards||Pólya Prize (2006)|
Sylvester Medal (2006)
|Institutions||University of Cambridge|
|Doctoral advisors||John Littlewood|
|Doctoral students||Jean-Louis Colliot-Thélène|
Sir Henry Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer, 16th Baronet,(2 August 1927 – 26 December 2018) was an English mathematician specialising in number theory at the University of Cambridge. As a mathematician he was best known for his part in the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture relating algebraic properties of elliptic curves to special values of L-functions, which was developed with Bryan Birch during the first half of the 1960s with the help of machine computation, and for his work on the Titan operating system.
Swinnerton-Dyer was the son of Sir Leonard Schroeder Swinnerton Dyer, 15th Baronet, and his wife Barbara, daughter of Hereward Brackenbury. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, Master of St Catharine's College from 1973 to 1983, and vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1979 to 1981. In 1983 he was made an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's.
In the same year, 1983, he became Chairman of the University Grants Committee and then from 1989, Chief Executive of its successor, the Universities Funding Council.
He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1967 and was made a KBE in 1987. In 2006 he was awarded the Sylvester Medal. In 1981, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the University of Bath.
Swinnerton-Dyer was, in his younger days, an international bridge player, representing the British team twice in the European Open teams championship. In 1953 at Helsinki he was partnered by Dimmie Fleming: the team came second out of fifteen teams. In 1962 he was partnered by Ken Barbour; the team came fourth out of twelve teams at Beirut.
He married Dr Harriet Crawford in 1983.
Swinnerton-Dyer died on 26 December 2018 at the age of 91.