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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Noted British mathematician Michael Atiyah with India links dead

Atiyah, who was based at Oxford and Cambridge, among several universities, during his career, is best known for his contribution to a branch of mathematics called topological K-theory and the Atiyah-Singer index theorem.

world Updated: Jan 14, 2019 00:07 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Leading UK mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah, who had several Indian links, has died (Representative Photo)
Leading UK mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah, who had several Indian links, has died (Representative Photo)(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
         

Michael Atiyah, one of the foremost mathematicians whose work encompassed topology and geometry, and who worked with several Indian mathematicians during his career, has passed away aged 89.

Atiyah, who was based at Oxford and Cambridge, among several universities, during his career, is best known for his contribution to a branch of mathematics called topological K-theory and the Atiyah-Singer index theorem.

Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said of Atiyah, who held the post between 1990 and 1995: “Sir Michael Atiyah was a great mathematician who was known for his contributions in the areas of geometry and topology”.

“For his work, he received many awards, notably the Fields Medal, Abel Prize and the Royal Society’s highest accolade, the Copley Medal.”

“He was also a wonderful person who, as President of the Royal Society, showed that he was a true internationalist and a fervent supporter for investing in talent – themes which resonate very clearly today,” Ramakrishnan added.

Atiyah, who visited Bengaluru several times, worked with mathematicians such as Indian-American mathematician Harish-Chandra and Vijay Kumar Patodi.

Atiyah’s brother, Joe Atiyah, told BBC News: “He has been described to me by more than one professor of mathematics as the best mathematician in this country since Sir Isaac Newton”.

Atiyah was the chancellor of the University of Leicester, among his several roles in British and American academia during his career.

First Published: Jan 13, 2019 18:48 IST

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