Person: Littlewood (2), Dudley
Dudley Ernest Littlewood was a British mathematician known for his work in group representation theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- He entered Trinity College where his undergraduate tutor was J E Littlewood (who was not related to Dudley).
- Littlewood was a very successful mathematics undergraduate being awarded College prizes and the Yeats prize.
- Littlewood's first appointment was as a school teacher, but, in 1928, he found a post as a temporary part-time lecturer at University College Swansea.
- Although his research flourished in Swansea, Littlewood was keen to return to Cambridge and, when the chance came in 1947, he accepted a post as university lecturer.
- Until Littlewood's appointment to Swansea he had no definite research interests.
- Another reason was certainly the work of Hilbert, but Littlewood tried to remedy the "tensor reason" in a series of papers on tensors and invariant theory.
- Littlewood's main work, however, began in 1934 after Richardson had suggested that Littlewood study papers by Frobenius and Schur.
- Above all, this paper is renowned for its statement of a rule for multiplying S-functions, now universally called the Littlewood-Richardson rule (this had to wait a further thirty-five years for a rigorous proof).
- This marks the beginning of Littlewood's investigation of group characters, in particular the characters of the symmetric group.
- Littlewood had a great love for the works of Frobenius, Schur and Weyl - these were mathematicians who produced the kind of usable formulae which he could and did appreciate.
- In 1970 Littlewood retired from the chair at Bangor, but he continued to live at Llandudno on the North Wales coast.
- Around the time of his 76th birthday, Littlewood fell and broke a leg.
Born 7 September 1903, London, England. Died 6 October 1979, Llandudno, Wales.
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