Person: Kingman, John Frank Charles
John Kingman is an English mathematician known for his work in statistics, queuing theory and mathematical genetics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- John was educated at Christ's College, Finchley in London where he won a scholarship to Cambridge.
- Kingman intended to undertake research with Lindley but he left Cambridge for Aberystwyth.
- Kingman followed Lindley's advice to stay in Cambridge where he became a PhD student of Peter Whittle.
- When Whittle moved to Manchester Whittle suggested that Kingman go to Oxford and work with David Kendall.
- This he did, but after Kingman had spent one year at Oxford, David Kendall moved to Cambridge where he was appointed Professor of Mathematical Statistics.
- At this stage Kingman returned to Cambridge but never finished his Ph.D. He did, however, continue collaborating with David Kendall during the next years that he spent in Cambridge.
- In 1961 Kingman became a Fellow of Pembroke College, being a Smith's Prizeman in 1962.
- Also in 1962 Kingman was appointed as an assistant lecturer in mathematics.
- In 1965 Kingman moved from Cambridge when he was appointed as reader in mathematics and statistics at the University of Sussex.
- Sussex was a very new university when Kingman was appointed there since it had only been founded a few years earlier.
- After only a year at Sussex, Kingman was promoted to a chair of mathematics and statistics in 1966.
- Two important books by Kingman were published in that year, namely Introduction to Measure and Probability (written jointly with S J Taylor) and The Algebra of Queues.
- In 1967 Kingman became a member of the International Statistical Institute.
- Kingman succeeded in proving the theorem: he published The ergodic theory of subadditive stochastic processes in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society in 1968 and An ergodic theorem in the Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society in the following year.
- Kingman gave a beautiful description of the development of the subject in his 1973 paper Subadditive ergodic theory published in the Annals of Probability.
- Kingman was appointed as professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford in 1969 and he held this post until 1985.
- This paper gave, in some sense, a complete solution to a problem which Kingman had been studying since his paper Markov transition probabilities.
- Between this first paper and the complete solution in 1971, Kingman had published several further contributions building up to the final elegant result: Markov transition probabilities.
- This work was part of the theory of regenerative phenomena and, in addition to a number of other articles, Kingman published his classic text Regenerative phenomena in 1972.
- During his time at Oxford, Kingman held several visiting appointments, in particular at the University of Western Australia in 1974 and the Australian National University in 1978.
- In 1985 Kingman was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol.
- Although he was at this stage in a position which no longer required him to retain his interests in mathematical statistics, Kingman certainly did not give up his mathematical interests.
- In 2001 Kingman left Bristol to become Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematics Sciences.
- We have commented above on several areas of Kingman's research as we were describing events in his life.
- In 1979 Kingman gave a series of lectures at Iowa State University on the contributions of mathematics to the study of genetic evolution.
- This was an area in which Kingman had made many important contributions himself and these are detailed in the lecture notes published as Mathematics of Genetic Diversity in the following year.
- Kingman discussed deterministic models and stochastic models relating to genetic evolution.
- In 1993 Kingman published Poisson processes which provides a systematic treatment of the subject.
- Kingman served as Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences from October 2001 to September 2006.
- Kingman has received many honours for his work in mathematics and statistics in addition to those, such as election as a fellow of the Royal Society, mentioned above.
- Kingman was knighted in 1985.
- In July 2004, Kingman was awarded a D.Sc. by Brunel University.
Born 28 August 1939, Beckenham, Kent, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive