Person: Rennie, Basil Cameron
Basil Rennie was an English mathematician who moved to Australia and worked on topics in both pure and applied mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- He attended University College School, an excellent school which was founded as part of University College, London about 100 years before Basil studied there.
- Rennie's lecture notes taken while attending this course still exist.
- Rennie graduated with an MA from Cambridge in 1941.
- Rennie took a job with Rolls Royce Aero Engine division, then moved to the Austin Motor Works.
- Given the engineering background from which Rennie had come it is perhaps surprising that his research topic was lattice theory.
- Soon after he arrived in Adelaide, Rennie met Barbara Andrews who was a secretary in the Department of Engineering.
- We should recount how Rennie came to use the name David Cameron for some of his papers.
- First we should note that Rennie never looked to enhance his reputation - nothing could have been further from the way he looked at life.
- Elliott made some substantial suggestions and Rennie wanted to include him as an author of the paper.
- However Elliott did not feel that he should become a joint author but, as a compromise suggested that the paper be published under the pseudonym David Cameron, thus taking one of his names and one of Rennie's names.
- This Rennie accepted and continued to publish various articles under this name.
- To understand the range of Rennie's interests, let us look at a few papers he published during the period 1959-63.
- In 1962 Rennie left the University of Adelaide and accepted a professorship in the Air Force Academy at Point Cook, Victoria.
- Rennie held the chair of mathematics at this University until he retired in 1986.
- One of Rennie's most important contributions to Australian mathematics was when he set up the James Cook Mathematical Notes.
- Easily the most famous was Paul Erdős, who came to Townsville to see Basil on many occasions.
- These were all written by Basil Rennie.
- After Rennie died the Notes ceased publication.
- After he retired, Rennie continued to publish on a wide variety of topics.
Born 24 December 1920, London, England. Died 15 November 1996, Adelaide, Australia.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin England, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive