Person: Morton (2), Keith William
Bill Morton is an English mathematician who worked on partial differential equations and their numerical analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Sadly, Keith died in June 1933, shortly after Bill's third birthday, and Muriel died a year later.
- Bill began his schooling at Hadleigh Bridge Street Primary in 1935.
- In 1948, the year when Morton completed his secondary education, national service was compulsory and he spent the year 1948-49 in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
- After completing his National Service, Morton matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he studied mathematics.
- At Oxford, Morton attended lectures on quantum mechanics delivered by the South African Jacobus Stephanus de Wet (1913-1995), known to all as Jack.
- Hilbert is one of the most influential mathematicians of his time, and his famous address to the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900, where he announced a number of unsolved problems, was to Morton's mind 'crucial' in its plea that mathematics should always remain a single, undivided subject.
- Morton graduated with a B.A. in 1952 and began working in the Theoretical Physics Division of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell (which was in Berkshire at the time but, following boundary changes in 1974, is now in Oxfordshire).
- Morton also published the single-authored paper A generalisation of the antithetic variate technique for evaluating integrals (1957).
- As a consequence of his contributions to this area, Morton was invited by the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in New York to spend some time there.
- Morton was awarded a Ph.D. by New York University in 1964 for his thesis Finite Amplitude Compression Waves in a Collision-Free Plasma.
- After completing his doctoral studies, in 1964 Morton was appointed as Head of Computing and Applied Mathematics at the Culham Laboratory which was operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
- Morton worked at Culham until 1972 and during this time published, in collaboration with Robert D Richtmyer, published the book Difference methods for initial-value problems (1967).
- At Culham, as in his earlier position at Harwell, Morton was pleased to work with theoretical physicists but again he felt that he was too involved in computing and wanted to have a larger involvement with mathematics.
- A discussion on numerical analysis of partial differential equations which he published in 1971 gives both a Culham and a University of Reading address for Morton.
- Morton's work in this and many other papers, gained great insight into the flow of fluids.
- With his colleague Michael Baines, Morton founded the Institute for Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Reading.
- In March 1982 the conference 'Numerical methods for fluid dynamics' was organised by Morton and his colleagues at the University of Reading.
- The conference Proceedings appeared in the same year edited by Morton and Baines.
- The first paper in the Proceedings is a 32-page paper by Morton Generalised Galerkin methods for steady and unsteady problems.
- Again Morton and Baines edited the Proceedings but Morton had left the Chair of Applied Mathematics at Reading before this conference, being appointed as a Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University in 1983.
- After retiring, Morton was made Emeritus Professor at Oxford University, Emeritus Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, and appointed as a part-time Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bath, 1998-2005.
- In July 2010 the London Mathematical Society awarded Morton their De Morgan Medal.
- Professor Keith William (Bill) Morton of the University of Oxford in recognition of his seminal contributions to the field of numerical analysis of partial differential equations and its applications and for services to his discipline.
- Another honour which we should mention was Morton's invitation to deliver the Dame Mary Cartwright Lecture in February 2001.
- To celebrate Morton's 80th birthday, the conference 'Bill Morton's 80th Birthday Conference' was held in Oxford University on 29 May 2010.
- Morton joined the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 1963, and was elected the first President of the UK Section when it was formed in 1997.
- In addition to his scientific work, Morton lists his interests as reading, real tennis, walking, gardening, and listening to music.
Born 28 May 1930, Ipswich, England.
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