Person: Moser (2), William
William Moser was a Canadian mathematician who worked in combinatorial geometry and group theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- His parents were Laura Feurstein and Robert Moser from Austria.
- Moser entered the University of Manitoba, following the career path of Leo, and graduated with a B.Sc. in 1949.
- Moser then did a Master's degree at the University of Minnesota, being awarded an M.A. in 1951.
- This thesis was a major component in the classic text Generators and relations for discrete groups jointly authored by Donald Coxeter and Willy Moser and published by Springer-Verlag in Berlin-Göttingen-Heidelberg in 1957.
- See Coxeter-Moser Preface for a complete version of the Preface.
- The second publication by Moser On the number of ordinary lines determined by n points was again of major significance.
- We note in passing that Moser published a joint paper with Peter Borwein in 1990 A survey of Sylvester's problem and its generalizations which looks at developments.
- In 1959 Moser returned to the University of Manitoba, where he had studied as an undergraduate, being appointed an Associate Professor.
- In order to promote his specialty, Moser became involved in the teaching of high school mathematics teachers, making films about geometry, organizing mathematical competitions and collecting and disseminating competition problems.
- Moser published a fine collection of combinatorics papers jointly with Morton Abramson: A note on combinations (1966); Combinations, successions and the n-kings problem (1966); Permutations without rising or falling w-sequences (1967); Enumeration of combinations with restricted differences and cospan (1969); Generalizations of Terquem's problem (1969); The problem of the second seating and generalizations (1972); Arrays with fixed row and column sums (1973); and Linear and ring arrangements (1976).
- Finally we must say something about Moser's remarkable contributions in publishing surveys of problems in discrete geometry in both books and articles.
- In 1989 the First Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry was held in Montreal and Moser presided over the two problem sessions publishing Problems, problems, problems in the conference proceedings.
- This interest in problems in discrete geometry culminated in 2005 with the publication of a 500 page book Research problems in discrete geometry published jointly by Moser, Peter Brass and János Pach.
- Colin Campbell, who has been our colleague at St Andrews for forty years, studied for a Master's Degree at McGill University under Moser's supervision during 1964-65.
- It gave me an opportunity to visit the Guthrie theatre in Minneapolis, encouraged by Moser who is a great enthusiast for the theatre.
- A few years later Moser supervised a second Master's student with the name of Campbell, namely Harvey A Campbell, on a similar topic.
- In March 2003 Moser was interviewed by Siobhan Roberts who was working on her major work on Coxeter King of Infinite space.
- Moser's opportunity came at the end of Coxeter's 1955 summer of roving lectures, after his session in Stillwater, at Oklahoma State University.
- Moser drove down to meet Coxeter and serve as his assistant, taking detailed notes of the well-polished lectures.
- "At the end of the summer we drove north, to civilisation," said Moser wryly.
- We end this biography of Willy Moser by quoting his words from his address to the Canadian Mathematical Society at the time he received its Distinguished Service Award in 2003.
Born 5 September 1927, Winnipeg, Canada. Died 28 January 2009, Montreal, Canada.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Group Theory, Origin Canada
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive