Alexander Murray MacBeath

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Murray Macbeath
Born
Alexander Murray Macbeath

30 June 1923
Glasgow, Scotland
Died14 May 2014(2014-05-14) (aged 90)
Warwick, England
NationalityUK
Alma materQueens University, Belfast (B.A.)
Clare College, Cambridge (M.A.)
Princeton University (Ph.D., 1950)
Occupationmathematician, professor
Known forWWII codebreaking, MacBeath Surfaces
Spouse(s)Julie (1952-his death)
ChildrenIan
Peter
Parent(s)Alexander Macbeath (father) Grace Stewart (mother)

Alexander Murray Macbeath (30 June 1923 Glasgow – 14 May 2014 Warwick)[1][2][3] was a mathematician who worked on Riemann surfaces. Macbeath surfaces are named after him.

Early life and education[edit]

Macbeath was the son of Alexander Macbeath, a philosopher and logician who took a position at Queen's University Belfast in 1925,[4] soon after Murray was born. Murray also studied at Queen's University, where he earned a B.A. with honours.[1]

During World War II, he worked in Hut 7 of the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, breaking ciphers used for military communications by the Japanese navy and, later, army.[2]

After the war he earned an M.A. (again with honours) from Clare College, Cambridge. With a Commonwealth Fund fellowship, he then attended Princeton University,[1] where he earned his Ph.D. in 1950 under the supervision of Emil Artin.[5]

Career[edit]

He taught at Keele University and the University of Dundee before moving to the University of Birmingham in 1963 where he stayed until 1979 as Mason Professor,[3] then moved back to the University of Pittsburgh in the United States until he reached their statutory retirement age of 60.[1]

He subsequently took up a position at the University of Dundee where he remained for a number of years, before moving to Warwickshire where at the University of Warwick he held the position of Emeritus Professor of Mathematics.

Death[edit]

Professor Macbeath died on 14 May 2014 in Warwick, England.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Thomas, Campbell (2014), "Obituary: Professor Murray Macbeath, mathematician and wartime codebreaker", The Scotsman (Friday 27 June)
  2. ^ a b "Professor Murray MacBeath", The Times, Obituaries (Friday 27 June), 2014
  3. ^ a b Bill Harvey (1 July 2014), Murray Macbeath, London Mathematical Society, archived from the original on 28 December 2012, retrieved 2014-07-06
  4. ^ "Obituary: Professor Alexander MacBeath", Glasgow Herald, 16 December 1964.
  5. ^ Alexander Murray MacBeath at the Mathematics Genealogy Project