Peter Johnstone (mathematician)

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Peter Johnstone
A picture of Johnstone taken at Cambridge in 1978.
A picture of Johnstone as a lecturer at Cambridge in 1978.
Born1948 (age 72–73)
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Known forCategory theory
Topos theory
AwardsWhitehead Prize (1979)[1]
Scientific career
ThesisSome Aspects of Internal Category Theory in an Elementary Topos (1974)
Doctoral advisorJohn Frank Adams

Peter Tennant Johnstone (born 1948) is Professor of the Foundations of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of St. John's College.[2] He invented or developed a broad range of fundamental ideas in topos theory. His thesis, completed at the University of Cambridge in 1974, was entitled "Some Aspects of Internal Category Theory in an Elementary Topos".[3]

He is a great-great nephew of the Reverend George Gilfillan who was apostrophised in William McGonagall's first poem.[4]


  • Johnstone, Peter (1977), Topos Theory, Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-387850-2, Zbl 0368.18001.
— "[F]ar too hard to read, and not for the faint-hearted"[5]


  1. ^ The list of Whitehead Prize winners, retrieved 2019-10-10.
  2. ^ "Fellows of St. John's College 2009". Cambridge University Reporter. 2009-10-02.
  3. ^ "The Mathematics Genealogy Project - Peter Johnstone".
  4. ^ Hunt, Chris, William McGonagall: Collected Poems, Birlinn, 2006, px
  5. ^ An anonymous referee, as quoted by Johnstone in his Sketches of an elephant, p. ix.

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