Professor Walter Hayman (1926-2020)

It is with regret that the London Mathematical Society (LMS) has learned of the death of Professor Walter Hayman FRS on 1 January 2020.  

Professor Hayman was a longstanding member of the LMS, having been elected to membership on 20 March 1947. He was awarded the LMS De Morgan Medal in 1995 and was also awarded the LMS Berwick Prize in 1955 and the Senior Berwick Prize in 1964. He was an LMS Vice President from 1982-1984. Other major honours included his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1956.

He studied for his undergraduate degree at St John's College, Cambridge and he went on to do research under the supervision of Professor Dame Mary Cartwright. In 1947 he was appointed as a lecturer at King's College, Newcastle and in the same year he became a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. Later in 1947 he was appointed as a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Exeter. He left Exeter in 1956 to become the first Professor of Pure Mathematics at Imperial College London. After Imperial he was appointed Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of York and later returned to Imperial College as a Senior Research Fellow.

Throughout his career Hayman produced work in many areas of complex analysis. He authored five significant textbooks and was well known for his fundamental work on the theory of functions. Professor Hayman made many outstanding contributions to the study of functions of a complex variable, in particular his 1955 proof of the asymptotic Bieberbach conjecture. He also contributed to developing future mathematicians when he co-founded the British Mathematical Olympiad with his wife Margaret Hayman.

LMs President, Professor Jon Keating, said: 'Professor Hayman was one of the 20th Century's leading complex analysts. He was enormously distinguished both for his research and for his contributions to the encouragement of young mathematicians.  He was a longstanding supporter of the LMS, only recently taking part in the celebration of 21st anniversary of our move to De Morgan House.  We are very sorry indeed to learn of his death'.