Person: Davenport, Harold
Harold Davenport worked on number theory, in particular the geometry of numbers, Diophantine approximation and the analytic theory of numbers. He wrote a number of important textbooks and monographs including _The higher arithmetic _ (1952).
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Harold attended Accrington Grammar School from the age of about ten years.
- There were other subjects which interested Harold too, for he loved reading and read every Dickens classic that he could borrow from the local Public Library.
- Davenport was most attracted by Littlewood's lectures on the theory of primes and those of Besicovitch on almost periodic functions.
- Davenport wrote a Ph.D. thesis at Cambridge under Littlewood's supervision.
- Those who interacted with Davenport included Richard Rado, Hirsch, Courant, Taussky (later Taussky-Todd), Kober and Mahler.
- In 1941 Davenport was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University College of North Wales at Bangor.
- Harold and Anne left Wales and moved to London in 1945 when Davenport succeeded Jeffery as Astor professor of mathematics in University College, London.
- At this time Davenport worked mainly on the geometry of numbers and on Diophantine approximation; he also acquired a lasting interest in problems of packing and covering.
- In 1958 Davenport returned to Cambridge as Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics on the retirement of Besicovitch.
- Davenport worked on number theory, in particular the geometry of numbers, Diophantine approximation and the analytic theory of numbers.
- We mentioned above that Davenport had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society while still an assistant lecturer.
- Always a heavy smoker (he tried to give up the habit several times but always failed), Davenport succumbed to lung cancer at a young age.
Born 30 October 1907, Huncoat, Lancashire, England. Died 9 June 1969, Cambridge, England.
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