Person: Cooper (2), William Wager
Lionel Cooper was a South African mathematician who worked in operator theory, thermodynamics, functional analysis and differential equations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Even at this stage Lionel showed a strong desire to learn and was particularly fascinated by the stars.
- In 1931, when in his final year at school, Cooper took the examinations for university entrance and greatly impressed the mathematics examiner, Professor Philip Stein of the University of Natal, who said that Cooper's mathematics paper was the best he had ever seen.
- Cooper entered the University of Cape Town in 1932 where his academic performance was outstanding.
- But Cooper did much more at university than just concentrate on his academic subjects.
- Cooper became a prominent member of the Commission but it failed to reach a unanimous conclusion, producing two conflicting reports in 1964.
- All this work meant that Cooper's time for research was severely limited but he made an effort to increase his output by making a number of research visits, most significantly to the research centre in Oberwolfach, Germany, and spending the year 1964-65 in Pasadena as Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology.
- Cooper was offered a professorship at the University of Toronto in 1965.
- This had become a College of the University of London in 1966, just before Cooper was appointed as head of mathematics there.
- In the area of transform theory, Cooper worked on the representation and uniqueness of integral transforms, on approximation, and on linear transformations which satisfy functional relations arising from representations of linear groups.
- In fact, the longer one knew Lionel, the more one realised that his true gentleness was one of his most outstanding and endearing qualities.
- Cooper had been a fit man so he became alarmed when he found himself struggling for breath while walking in the Lake District.
- Cooper waited until he had marked and assessed all his examination papers before entering hospital for the operation.
Born 27 December 1915, Beaufort West, Cape Province, South Africa. Died 8 August 1977, London, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African, Origin South Africa
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive