◀ ▲ ▶History / 19th-century / Person: Berwick, William Edward Hodgson
Person: Berwick, William Edward Hodgson
William Berwick studied at Cambridge and lectured at Bristol, Bangor and Leeds before returning to Cambridge and eventually became Professor at Bangor. He worked in algebraic number theory. His widow endowed the Berwick prizes of the London Mathematical Society in his name.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- William Berwick was educated at a small private school before entering Bradford Grammar School where he soon showed his mathematical potential.
- It is interesting to look at Berwick's fellow students, particularly those who were ranked above him in the Tripos.
- Daniell went on to become professor of mathematics at the University of Sheffield, but the most famous of Berwick's fellow students was L J Mordell.
- It was during his undergraduate years at Cambridge that Berwick became interested in number theory, and in this he was particularly influenced by G B Mathews who lectured at Cambridge.
- This paper, On the reduction of arithmetical binary cubics which have a negative determinant, was written jointly with Mathews and it was in fact the only paper Berwick jointly authored throughout his career.
- By the time that Berwick's first paper was published he had left Cambridge to take up an assistant lectureship at the University of Bristol.
- For two of these four years Berwick undertook valuable war service on the Technical Staff of the Anti-Aircraft Experimental Section of the Munitions Inventions Department at Portsmouth.
- During session 1919-20 the head of the mathematics department at Bangor was absent and Berwick was acting Head of Department.
- Two years later Berwick received another recognition of his mathematical distinction when he was awarded a Sc.D. by the University of Cambridge in 1925.
- The Chair of Mathematics at Bangor fell vacant and in 1926 Berwick was appointed to the post.
- Berwick wrote only 13 research papers, a monograph, and a number of other articles on mathematical recreations and puzzles.
- Berwick was an algebraist who worked on the problem of computing an integral basis for the algebraic integers in a simple algebraic extension of the rationals.
- The heavy numerical computations involved in Berwick's work kept it outside the mainstream of algebraic number theory.
- Berwick also gave, in 1915, necessary and sufficient conditions for a quintic equation to be soluble by radicals.
- Berwick was a staunch supporter of the London Mathematical Society and served on the Council from 1925 to 1929, being Vice-President of the Society in 1929.
- His widow Daisy May Berwick presented the Society with the money and the Council decided to name the two prizes the Senior Berwick Prize and the Junior Berwick Prize.
Born 11 March 1888, Dudley Hill (near Bradford), England. Died 13 May 1944, Bangor, Wales.
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive