The Info List - Coxeter

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HAROLD SCOTT MACDONALD "DONALD" COXETER, FRS, FRSC, CC (February 9, 1907 – March 31, 2003) was a British-born Canadian geometer. Coxeter is regarded as one of the greatest geometers of the 20th century. He was born in London
but spent most of his adult life in Canada
. He was always called Donald, from his third name MacDonald. He was most noted for his work on regular polytopes and higher-dimensional geometries. He was a champion of the classical approach to geometry, in a period when the tendency was to approach geometry more and more via algebra.


* 1 Biography * 2 Awards * 3 Works * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links


In his youth, Coxeter composed music and was an accomplished pianist at the age of 10. He felt that mathematics and music were intimately related, outlining his ideas in a 1962 article on "Mathematics and Music" in the Canadian Music Journal.

Coxeter went up to Trinity College , Cambridge in 1926 to read mathematics. There he earned his BA (as Senior Wrangler
Senior Wrangler
) in 1928, and his doctorate in 1931. In 1932 he went to Princeton University
Princeton University
for a year as a Rockefeller Fellow , where he worked with Hermann Weyl
Hermann Weyl
, Oswald Veblen
Oswald Veblen
, and Solomon Lefschetz . Returning to Trinity for a year, he attended Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
's seminars on the philosophy of mathematics . In 1934 he spent a further year at Princeton as a Procter Fellow.

In 1936 Coxeter moved to the University of Toronto. In 1938 he and P. Du Val , H.T. Flather, and John Flinders Petrie published The Fifty-Nine Icosahedra with University of Toronto
University of Toronto
Press . In 1940 Coxeter edited the eleventh edition of Mathematical Recreations and Essays, originally published by W. W. Rouse Ball in 1892. He was elevated to professor in 1948. Coxeter was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
in 1948 and a Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society
in 1950. He met Maurits Escher in 1954 and the two became lifelong friends; his work on geometric figures helped inspire some of Escher's works, particularly the Circle Limit series based on hyperbolic tessellations . He also inspired some of the innovations of Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller
. Coxeter, M. S. Longuet-Higgins and J. C. P. Miller were the first to publish the full list of uniform polyhedra (1954).

He worked for 60 years at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
and published twelve books .


Since 1978, the Canadian Mathematical Society have awarded the Coxeter–James Prize in his honor.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society
in 1950 and in 1997 he was awarded their Sylvester Medal
Sylvester Medal
. In 1990, he became a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
and in 1997 was made a Companion of the Order of Canada
Order of Canada

In 1973 he received the Jeffery–Williams Prize .


* 1940: Regular and Semi-Regular Polytopes I, Mathematische Zeitschrift 46: 380-407, MR 2,10 doi :10.1007/BF01181449 * 1942: Non-Euclidean Geometry
(1st edition), (2nd ed, 1947), (3rd ed, 1957), (4th ed, 1961), (5th ed, 1965), University of Toronto
University of Toronto
Press (6th ed, 1998), MAA . * 1954: (with Michael S. Longuet-Higgins and J. C. P. Miller ) "Uniform Polyhedra", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 246: 401–50 doi :10.1098/rsta.1954.0003 * 1949: The Real Projective Plane * 1957: (with W.O.J. Moser) Generators and Relations for Discrete Groups 1980: Second edition, Springer-Verlag ISBN 0-387-09212-9 * 1961: Introduction to Geometry
* 1963: Regular Polytopes (2nd edition), Macmillan Company * 1967: (with S. L. Greitzer ) Geometry
Revisited * 1970: Twisted honeycombs (American Mathematical Society, 1970, Regional conference series in mathematics Number 4, ISBN 0-8218-1653-5 ) * 1973: Regular Polytopes , (3rd edition), Dover edition, ISBN 0-486-61480-8 * 1974: Projective Geometry
(2nd edition) * 1974: Regular Complex Polytopes, Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
* 1981: (with R. Frucht and D. L. Powers), Zero-Symmetric Graphs, Academic Press . * 1985: Regular and Semi-Regular Polytopes II, Mathematische Zeitschrift 188: 559-591 * 1987 Projective Geometry
(1987) ISBN 978-0-387-40623-7 * 1988: Regular and Semi-Regular Polytopes III, Mathematische Zeitschrift 200: 3-45 * 1995: F. Arthur Sherk, Peter McMullen, Anthony C. Thompson and Asia Ivić Weiss, editors: Kaleidoscopes — Selected Writings of H.S.M. Coxeter. John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0-471-01003-0 * 1999: The Beauty of Geometry: Twelve Essays, Dover Publications, LCCN 99-35678, ISBN 0-486-40919-8


* Boerdijk–Coxeter helix
Boerdijk–Coxeter helix
* Coxeter functor * Coxeter group * Coxeter number * Coxeter–Dynkin diagram * Coxeter–James Prize * Coxeter matroid * Coxeter–Todd lattice * Coxeter\'s loxodromic sequence of tangent circles * LCF notation * Todd–Coxeter algorithm *