Person: Rigby, John Frankland
John Frankland Rigby worked for his whole career at the University of Cardiff. As a geometer he was famed for the 'Rigby points'. A leading expert on mathematics and art, he was also an enthusiastic and highly successful teacher.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Fred Frankland Rigby had been born in Westhoughton, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 13 February 1904.
- After elementary school, John Frankland Rigby studied at Manchester Grammar School, entering the school in 1943 and graduating in 1950.
- For example, there are various reports of Rigby playing chess for the school.
- John Rigby was involved in both music and amateur dramatics while at Manchester Grammar School.
- performance of young Lucius (J F Rigby) and his singing to his own accompaniment on the lyre of the Elizabethan love song "Go to bed, sweet maid," which was both dainty and charming.
- In addition, in the December 1949 Scholarship Examinations, Rigby was awarded a Scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge.
- In 1959 Rigby was appointed to the School of Mathematics at the University of Cardiff.
- in John's first year as a member of staff ...
- we tried to wheedle out of him what went on in this mysterious establishment, but John was typically tight-lipped - not a comma nor full-stop could be drawn out of him.
- Rigby's papers in the London Mathematical Society were not his first publication.
- Although Rigby's research for his doctorate had been in group theory, his interests turned towards geometry.
- At the University of Toronto, Rigby had many useful discussions with Frank Arthur Sherk (1932-2015).
- While at Toronto, Rigby worked on the paper Affine subplanes of finite projective planes which he submitted to the Canadian Mathematical Society on 9 July 1964.
- At the University of Cardiff, Rigby was a colleague of Jim Wiegold.
- Rigby was interested in the history of mathematics mainly because it led him to find interesting examples that he could use in teaching.
- Rigby and Wiegold jointly organised a Mathematics Club aimed at school pupils in their final year at high school.
- Although they often produced a technically correct solution, John would inevitably produce a far more elegant one, drawing gasps of admiration from the audience.
- As an example of Rigby's interest in teaching, particularly using geometry, we list a few of his papers: A Problem in Projective Geometry (1961); A Problem in Projective Geometry (Continued) (1965); A "Semi-Converse" of the Theorem of Apollonius (1968); Inequalities Concerning the Areas Obtained When One Triangle Is Inscribed in Another (1972); A Concentrated Dose of Old-Fashioned Geometry (1973); Factor Lattices (1975); Adventitious Quadrangles: A Geometrical Approach (1978); Equilateral Triangles and the Golden Ratio (1988); Trackword Maths (1989); Some New Regular Compound Tessellations (1989); Paper Patterns (1990); Cycles and Tangent Rays (1991); Napoleon, Escher, and Tessellations (1991); Compound Tilings and Perfect Colourings (1991); Octagrammum Mysticum and the Golden Cross-Ratio (2002).
- Not surprisingly, Rigby's keen interest in teaching led to him being a very popular lecturer at Cardiff.
- Dr Rigby is amazing the way in which he explains and presents his material, is very methodical and he makes it extremely easy to understand! Why didn't we have him last year?
- For example, Ross Honsberger's 'Episodes in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Euclidean Geometry' (Mathematical Association of America, 1995) reserves a page on which special acknowledgment is given to John Rigby for his contributions to the book.
- Two other Rigby points are indexed in the 'Encyclopedia of Triangle Centers' as X(1371) and X(1372).
- In addition to his year at the University of Toronto, Rigby made extended visits to Turkey, Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore.
- We have already mentioned Rigby's interest and expertise in music.
- John was also a devoted member of the Welsh Folk Dance Society and a regular participant in both Highland and Scottish country dancing.
- Many of the patterned 'kneelers' in Llandaff Cathedral were designed by John.
- It has the only dedicated choir school in the Church in Wales and Rigby's love and expertise in music meant that for many years he was involved with the choir.
- Rigby retired from the University of Cardiff in 1996 but for some years continued to work part-time.
- John's acute powers of observation, his lack of self-pity, his sharp wit, the one-liners and repartee never left him.
- John had disarming charm, and will be remembered with appreciation, affection, and respect by his many friends and colleagues at Cardiff University.
Born 22 April 1933, Westhoughton, near Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. Died 29 December 2014, Cardiff, Wales.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Group Theory, Origin England
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive