Frank Bonsall

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Frank Featherstone Bonsall FRS (31 March 1920 Crouch End, London – 22 February 2011 Harrogate) was a British mathematician.[1]


Bonsall was born on 31 March 1920, the youngest son of Wilfred C Bonsall and Sarah Frank. His older brother was Arthur Bonsall.[2] He graduated from Bishop's Stortford College in 1938, and studied at Merton College, Oxford.[3] He served in World War II, in the Corps of Royal Engineers, and in India from 1944 to 1946.[4]

He married Gillian Patrick, in 1947.[3] He lectured at the University of Edinburgh from 1947-1948; was Visiting Associate Professor at Oklahoma State University from 1950-51; taught at Newcastle University, with Werner Wolfgang Rogosinski in the 1950s; was visiting professor at Yale University; and taught at the University of Edinburgh, from 1963 to 1984.[5] In 1966, he was awarded the London Mathematical Society's Berwick Prize. Despite not himself having a PhD, Bonsall supervised many PhD candidates[6] who knew him affectionately as "FFB". After his retirement, Bonsall and his wife moved to Harrogate.

Bonsall and his wife were keen hill-walkers.[7] He wrote two articles for The Scottish Mountaineering Club on the definition of a Munro.



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