Person: James (2), Ralph
Ralph Duncan James was an English-born Canadian mathematician who worked on number theory and mathematical analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Ralph James spent the early years of his life in England, then went to Vancouver in Canada when his parents emigrated.
- After the award of his undergraduate degree, James had intended to train to become an actuary, but he was persuaded to continue his studies at the University of British Columbia, completing a Master's Degree in mathematics with Frederick S Nowlan.
- It was through Nowlan's advice, and also his help, that James then went to the University of Chicago where he studied for his doctorate under L E Dickson.
- James was awarded a doctorate from Chicago in 1932 for his thesis Analytical Investigations in Waring's Theorem on number theory.
- James was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship to enable him to undertake postdoctoral study working with E T Bell at the California Institute of Technology during 1932-33 and also for a second year at the University of Cambridge in England working with G H Hardy.
- After the year 1933-34 spent in England, James returned to the United States where he was appointed to the University of California at Berkeley.
- In the second of these James applied Vinogradov's method of dealing with the problem of the number of representations of a large number as a sum of three primes to a some quite general problems.
- In the paper On the sieve method of Viggo Brun James takes the sieve method which had been used by Buchstab in 1940 to establish results on prime numbers, and applies it to obtain results about infinite subsets of primes, such as primes in arithmetic progression.
- In 1943 James was invited to become a Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia.
- In 1948 James became Head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia.
- James contributed in a major way towards the development of mathematics in North America.
- All the previous presidents had served terms of four years, but James felt that this was too long a period to hold the position so it was reduced to a two year term.
- Ralph James served his university very well in many capacities.
Born 8 February 1909, Liverpool, England. Died 19 May 1979, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive