Graham Higman
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(19 January 1917 – 8 April 2008) was a prominent English
mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces ...

known for his contributions to
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Higman was born in
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and attended Sutton High School,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...

, winning a scholarship to
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Balliol College, Oxford
. In 1939 he co-founded The Invariant Society, the student mathematics society, and earned his DPhil from the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
in 1941. His thesis, ''The units of group-rings'', was written under the direction of J. H. C. Whitehead. From 1960 to 1984 he was the
Waynflete Professor of Pure MathematicsThe Waynflete Professorships are four professorial fellowships at the University of Oxford endowed by Magdalen College, Oxford, Magdalen College and named in honour of the college founder William of Waynflete, who had a great interest in science. The ...
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Magdalen College, Oxford
. Higman was awarded the
Senior Berwick Prize The Berwick Prize and Senior Berwick Prize are two prizes of the London Mathematical Society awarded in alternating years in memory of William Edward Hodgson Berwick, a previous Vice-President of the LMS. Berwick left some money to be given to the s ...
in 1962 and the
De Morgan Medal The De Morgan Medal is a prize for outstanding contribution to mathematics, awarded by the London Mathematical Society. The Society's most prestigious award, it is given in memory of Augustus De Morgan, who was the first President of the society. ...
of the
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in 1974. He was the founder of the
Journal of Algebra ''Journal of Algebra'' (ISSN 0021-8693) is an international mathematical research journal in abstract algebra, algebra. An imprint of Academic Press, it is published by Elsevier. ''Journal of Algebra'' was founded by Graham Higman, who was its edi ...
and its editor from 1964 to 1984. Higman had 51 Ph.D. students, including Jonathan Lazare Alperin, Rosemary A. Bailey,
Marston Conder Marston Donald Edward Conder (born 9 September 1955) is a New Zealand mathematician, a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Auckland University,
John Mackintosh Howie John Mackintosh Howie (23 May 1936 – 26 December 2011) was a Scotland, Scottish mathematician and prominent semigroup theorist. Biography Howie was educated at Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen, the University of Aberdeen and Balliol Colleg ...
, and
Peter M. Neumann Peter Michael Neumann Order of the British Empire, OBE (28 December 1940 – 18 December 2020) was a British mathematician. His fields of interest included the history of mathematics and Galois theory. Biography Born in December 1940, Neumann ...
. He was also a Methodist local preacher, local preacher in the Oxford Circuit of the Methodism, Methodist Church. During the Second World War he was a conscientious objector, working at the Meteorological Office in Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. He died in Oxford.


* * * Graham Higman (1966) ''Odd characterisations of finite simple groups'', U. of Michigan Press * * * Graham Higman and Elizabeth Scott (1988), ''Existentially closed groups'', LMS Monographs, Clarendon Press, Oxford

See also

*Higman–Sims group, named after Donald G. Higman, but studied also by Graham Higman. *Higman's embedding theorem *Generalized polygon#Feit-Higman theorem, Feit-Higman theorem *Higman group *Higman's lemma *HNN extension *Hall–Higman theorem



Death notice, Oxford University Gazette, 17 April 2008

External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Higman, Graham 1917 births 2008 deaths 20th-century English mathematicians 21st-century English mathematicians Group theorists Alumni of Balliol College, Oxford Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford Fellows of the Royal Society People from Louth, Lincolnshire English conscientious objectors British Methodists Waynflete Professors of Pure Mathematics Presidents of the London Mathematical Society