**Frank Adams** was an English algebraic topologist who pioneered methods for calculating the homotopy of spheres.

- Adams served in the Royal Engineers during 1948 and 1949 before beginning his university education.
- Adams entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1949 to study mathematics.
- Family life was extremely important to Adams, though he preferred to keep it separate from his professional life.
- This happened during the year 1954 which Adams spent as a junior lecturer at the University of Oxford.
- He returned to Cambridge in 1956 to take up the Fellowship and during this period he developed the spectral sequence which today is called the "Adams' spectral sequence".
- Adams won a Commonwealth Scholarship which enabled him to visit Chicago as a research associate in 1957-58.
- The conjecture that Adams solved was the famous conjecture about the existence of HHH-structures on spheres.
- After spending further time in Princeton, Adams took up a post at Manchester as a Reader in 1962, being appointed to Newman's chair when he retired in 1964.
- In 1964 Adams was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
- In 1970 Adams succeeded Hodge as Lowndean Professor of Astronomy and Geometry at Cambridge, and at this time he returned to Trinity College.
- Stable homotopy theory (1964) is a short 74 page book which is based on six lectures Adams gave at the University of California at Berkeley in 1961.
- It is in two parts, the first contains a description of the topics that Adams thought essential for any young mathematician interested in algebraic topology.
- It links to a wide variety of textbooks with Adams indicating the one which treats the topic in the way he considers best.
- The second part contains excerpts from some famous papers on algebraic topology together with surveys of generalized cohomology theories and complex cobordism written by Adams.
- Adams' book fills this need nicely and it can be recommended to anyone seeking a substantial overview of the main topics.
- As is evident from the lecture courses which Adams published, his lectures were well prepared but usually hard.
- Adams received many awards for his work.
- Finally we note that seven years after Adams died another book was published based on his lecture courses.
- The book is based on lectures which Adams gave at Cambridge which he considered to be sequel to his book Lectures on Lie groups (1969).

Born 5 November 1930, Woolwich, London, England. Died 7 January 1989, Near Brampton, Huntingdonshire, England.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin England, Topology

**Oâ€™Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive