Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

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Peter Swinnerton-Dyer, Bt
Peter Swinnerton-Dyer.jpeg
Peter Swinnerton-Dyer at the workshop
"Explicit methods in number theory" in Oberwolfach, 2007
Born (1927-08-02) 2 August 1927 (age 90)
Ponteland, Northumberland[1]
Residence Thriplow, England[2]
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Known for Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture
Awards Pólya Prize (2006)
Sylvester Medal (2006)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor John Littlewood and André Weil
Doctoral students Jean-Louis Colliot-Thélène
Miles Reid

Sir Henry Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer, 16th Baronet KBE FRS (born 2 August 1927), commonly known as Peter Swinnerton-Dyer, is an English mathematician specialising in number theory at University of Cambridge. As a mathematician he is best known for his part in the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture relating algebraic properties of elliptic curves to special values of L-functions, which was developed with Bryan Birch during the first half of the 1960s with the help of machine computation, and for his work on the Titan operating system.


Swinnerton-Dyer is the son of Sir Leonard Schroeder Swinnerton Dyer, 15th Baronet, and his wife Barbara, daughter of Hereward Brackenbury. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, Master of St Catharine's College and vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1979 to 1983. In 1983 he was made an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's and Chairman of the University Grants Committee and then from 1989, Chief Executive of the Universities Funding Council. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1967 and was a KBE in 1987. In 2006 he was awarded the Sylvester Medal.

Swinnerton-Dyer was, in his younger days, an international bridge player, representing the British team twice in the European Open teams championship. In 1953 at Helsinki he was partnered by Dimmie Fleming (the only occasion a woman played on the British Open team): the team came second out of fifteen teams. In 1962 he was partnered by Ken Barbour; the team came fourth out of twelve teams at Beirut.[3] In 1981, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the University of Bath.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003), The International Who's Who 2004, Routledge, ISBN 1-85743-217-7 
  2. ^ Peter Swinnerton-Dyer interviewed by Alan Macfarlane, 2008-05-12, retrieved 2009-07-31 
  3. ^ Hasenson P. British Bridge Almanack. 77, London. p400-1
  4. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Leonard Schroeder Swinnerton Dyer
(of Tottenham)
Academic offices
Preceded by
Edwin Ernest Rich
Master of St Catharine's College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Barry Supple
Preceded by
Sir Alan Cottrell
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Hinsley