Person: Copson, Edward Thomas
Edward Copson was an expert on Complex Analysis and was Regius Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews from 1950 until 1969.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Whittaker interviewed Copson on the platform of Windemere station and offered him a lectureship in mathematics at the University of Edinburgh while on the train.
- Copson spent 1934 at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, then returned to the University of St Andrews but this time to the chair of mathematics at Queen's College, Dundee (Queen's College was at that time part of the University of St Andrews and only became the University of Dundee in the 1960s).
- Every member of the small staff might be called upon to lecture in any branch of mathematics, and Copson with his wide interests in mathematics was admirably suited to such an environment.
- Copson was generous in the help and advice he gave to new members of staff yet they were free to develop their interests both in teaching and research.
- Under Copson's leadership it was a most happy and successful department.
- A new Mathematical Institute was built on the North Haugh as part of the new science complex while Copson held the Regius Chair.
- The building work began on 8 September 1965 and on this occasion Copson cut the first sod with a spade which was subsequently presented to him.
- Copson studied classical analysis, asymptotic expansions, differential and integral equations, and applications to problems in theoretical physics.
- In total Copson wrote six books, all of which demonstrate his great skill as an expositor.
- Asymptotic expansions (1965) was written because Copson was pressed to write a more major work on that subject to expand on a shorter work written in 1943 at the request of the Admiralty.
- Copson was honoured by election to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1924 and was awarded the Keith Prize of the Society in 1941 for an outstanding series of papers published in the Proceedings.
- By the 1960s Copson was hard of hearing and wore a hearing aid.
- After he retired in 1969, Copson continued living in St Andrews.
Born 21 August 1901, Coventry, England. Died 16 February 1980, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive