Person: Murray, James Dickson
James Murray is a Scottish mathematician who is best known for his authoritative and extensive work Mathematical Biology.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- He spent three years at Dumfries Academy where the head of the mathematics department, Mr Ross, told him he would never make it as a mathematician! However James said that Mr Ross was an excellent mathematics teacher.
- This was the result of Mr Ross's opinion of Murray's mathematical abilities.
- In 1950-51 Murray entered the Junior Honours class in mathematics.
- In 1953 Murray graduated from the University of St Andrews when he was awarded a B.Sc. with 1st class Honours in Mathematics.
- It was not all work for Murray at university, however, for he won the University of St Andrews' first blue in table tennis and was captain of the university's billiard team.
- So, after taking his first degree, Murray remained at St Andrews to study for a Ph.D. having been awarded a Carnegie Research Scholarship.
- His thesis advisor was Ron Mitchell and he suggested to Murray a topic in boundary layer fluid dynamics.
- This was Murray's PhD problem.
- In 1954 Mitchell and Murray submitted the paper Two Dimensional Flow with Constant Shear Past Cylinders with Various Cross Sections to Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mathematik und Physik.
- Having completed the work for his Ph.D. Murray was appointed as a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, at King's College, Durham University in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1955.
- After spending a year at King's College in Newcastle, Murray, who had always wanted to go to the United States, went to Harvard University where he spent 1956-57 as a postdoctoral student supported by a Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship.
- Murray had continued to work on fluid dynamics and had published papers such as Non-uniform shear flow past cylinders (1957), The flow of a conducting fluid past a magnetized cylinder (1960), The boundary layer on a flat plate in a stream with uniform shear (1961), Strong cylindrical shock waves in magnetogasdynamics (1961), On the mathematics of fluidization.
- It was while he was at the University of Michigan that Murray became interested in mathematical biology.
- In 1967 Murray was appointed as Professor of Mathematics at New York University but, after two years he returned to England where he was made a fellow and tutor at Corpus Christi College of the University of Oxford.
- From 1966 until 1973 Murray published papers both on fluid dynamics and on mathematical biology.
- After 1974 all of Murray's publications (around 200 from 1974 up to 2015) are on mathematical biology.
- Murray gave the Introductory Remarks at the 'Theories of biological pattern formation', a Royal Society of London conference held on 25 and 26 March 1981.
- Murray has published three single authored books Asymptotic Analysis (1974), Lectures on Nonlinear Differential Equation Models in Biology (1977), Mathematical biology (1989), and, in addition, one multi-author work The mathematics of marriage: dynamic nonlinear models (2002), with John M Gottman, Catherine C Swanson, Rebecca Tyson and Kristin R Swanson.
- At Oxford, Murray was a Reader in Mathematics from 1972 to 1986, and Professor of Mathematical Biology from 1986.
- In 1992 Murray retired both from his chair of Mathematical Biology and from the Directorship of the Centre for Mathematical Biology.
- However, from 1987 Murray had, in addition to the Oxford positions, held appointments at the University of Washington in the United States.
- In 2010, now in his eightieth year, Murray became a Senior Scholar in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University and a Visiting Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton.
- During his long career, Murray has held numerous positions as Visiting Professor.
- For his outstanding contributions to mathematical biology, Murray has received many honours and awards.
- The University of Washington created a donor endowed chair in perpetuity: the James D Murray Chair of Applied Mathematics in Neuropathology in 2006.
Born 2 January 1931, Moffat, Scotland.
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