◀ ▲ ▶History / 19th-century / Person: Newman, Maxwell Herman Alexander
Person: Newman, Maxwell Herman Alexander
Max Newman was an English mathematician who worked on combinatorial topology and theoretcal computer science. His codebreaking work in World War II has made him famous.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Max attended the City of London School, entering in 1908.
- As we mentioned above, it was at this time that he changed his name by deed poll from Neumann to Newman.
- From 1916 until 1919 Newman undertook work related to the war, doing various jobs such as army paymaster and schoolmaster.
- Newman visited Princeton in 1928-9 during which time he was a Rockefeller Research Fellow working closely with Alexander.
- While at Cambridge Newman taught a course on the foundations of mathematics.
- which was published with considerable help from Newman.
- Without Newman's encouragement, Turing might not have done this work and got drawn into codebreaking.
- Newman returned to Princeton for a second visit in 1937-8.
- He devised a way of carrying forward the work of Tiltman and Tutte by the use of specially designed machines and for this purpose was given charge of a section, commonly called "Newmanry".
- At the end of the War Newman was appointed to a chair to succeed Mordell as Fielden Professor of Mathematics at Manchester and, three years later, he appointed Turing to the post of Reader in Mathematics in his Department.
- Along with Hodge and Henry Whitehead, Newman set up the British Mathematical Colloquium.
- A series of papers by Newman on this topic between 1926 and 1932 revolutionised the field.
- Newman also wrote an important paper on theoretical computer science, produced a topological counter-example of major significance in collaboration with Henry Whitehead, and wrote an outstanding paper on periodic transformations in abelian topological groups.
- Newman saw, and presented, topology as part of the whole of mathematics, not as an isolated discipline: and many must wish he had written more.
- In 1962 Newman was presented with the De Morgan Medal from the London Mathematical Society.
- In 1964 Newman retired from his Manchester chair but he most certainly did not give up mathematics.
- Retirement was also an opportunity for Newman to relaunch his research career which he did with the vigour of a young academic.
Born 7 February 1897, Chelsea, London, England. Died 22 February 1984, Comberton (near Cambridge), England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Algebra, Group Theory, Origin England, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive