Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer (1927-2018)

It is with regret that the London Mathematical Society (LMS) has learned of the death of Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer Bt, KBE, FRS. Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer was a renowned mathematician specialising in number theory, the advanced study of the relationships and properties of numbers. He is best known for his part in the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture relating algebraic properties of elliptic curves to special values of L-functions, which he developed with Professor Bryn Birch FRS in the 1960s, and for his work on the Titan operating system. The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture continues to be one of the Clay Mathematics Institute Millennium Problems.

As well as a distinguished mathematics researcher Sir Peter was also a prominent university administrator, serving as Master of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, as vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge and as chairman of the University Grants Committee and chief executive of the Universities Funding Council.

Sir Peter was a longstanding member of the LMS, having become a member in 1952 and was awarded the LMS Pólya Prize in 2006.He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1967 and was awarded the Royal Society Sylvester Medal in 2006. He was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in 1987.