John H. Coates
|John Henry Coates|
John H. Coates
26 January 1945 |
New South Wales, Australia
|Alma mater||Australian National University|
|Thesis||The Effective Solution of Some Diophantine Equations (1969)|
|Doctoral advisor||Alan Baker|
|Doctoral students||Pierre Colmez
|Known for||Iwasawa theory
|Notable awards||Senior Whitehead Prize (1997)|
Early life and education
Coates was born the son of J. H. Coates and B. L. Lee and grew up in Possum Brush (near Taree) in New South Wales, Australia. Coates Road in Possum Brush is named after the family farm on which he grew up. Before university he spent a summer working for BHP Billiton in Newcastle, New South Wales, though he was not successful in gaining a university scholarship with the company. Coates attended Australian National University on scholarship as one of the first undergraduates, from which he gained a B.Sc. degree. He then moved to France, doing further study at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, before moving again to England.
In England he did postgraduate research at the University of Cambridge, his doctoral dissertation being on p-adic analogues of Baker's method. In 1969, Coates was appointed assistant professor of mathematics at Harvard University in the United States, before moving again in 1972 to Stanford University where he became an associate professor.
In 1975, he returned to England where he was made a fellow of Emmanuel College, and took up a lectureship. Here he supervised the PhD of Andrew Wiles, and together they proved a partial case of the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture for elliptic curves with complex multiplication.
In 1977, Coates moved back to Australia, becoming a professor at the Australian National University, where he had been an undergraduate. The following year, he moved back to France, taking up a professorship at the University of Paris XI at Orsay. In 1985, he returned to the École Normale Supérieure, this time as professor and director of mathematics.
He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1985, and was President of the London Mathematical Society from 1988 to 1990. The latter organisation awarded him the Senior Whitehead Prize in 1997, for "his fundamental research in number theory and for his many contributions to mathematical life both in the UK and internationally".
Since 1986 Coates has worked in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics (DPMMS) of the University of Cambridge. In the last ten years he has focused on the study of various aspects of non-commutative Iwasawa theory, for instance, the study of the arithmetic of elliptic curves in nonabelian infinite extensions.
- John Coates interviewed by Alan Macfarlane, 2008-02-15, retrieved 2009-03-30
- Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. ISBN 1-85743-217-7.
- "Whereis: Possum Brush".
- Coates, J.; Wiles, A. (1977). "On the conjecture of Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer". Invent. Math. 39 (3): 223–251.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "John H. Coates", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- John H. Coates at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- DPMMS profile
- Emmanuel College profile
- John Coates interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 25th February 2008 (film)