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Professor David Epstein - Elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

Professor David Epstein
Professor David Epstein

Originally published 18 June 2004

Professor David Epstein of Warwick's Mathematics Institute has recently been invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society. The Royal Society is an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences. Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles, as the UK academy of science, as a learned Society and as a funding agency.

Whilst at Warwick David has solved a long-standing problem on 1-dimensional foliations. In 1988 the London Mathematical Society awarded him its Senior Berwick Prize. David has, for many years, been investigating the use of computers in pure mathematical research and also helped in founding the Geometry Supercomputer Project, which later became known as the Geometry Center. The Geometry Center is a mathematics research and education centre at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

David also has a strong interest in the applications of computer related ideas to group theory and, with James Cannon and Derek Holt, helped establish the Cannon-Thurston theory of automatic groups. David is the main author of "Word Processing in Groups" (Boston, 1992), which expounds the theory and rapidly became the standard text on the subject. The Warwick Geometry Group, which is led by David, continues to play an important part in developing both this theory and the associated software.

In 1992 (with Silvio Levy and Klaus Peters) David founded a new journal "Experimental Mathematics", devoted to the use of computers in pure mathematics. Besides hyperbolic geometry and automatic groups, his current interests include active work in geometric group theory and a passion for the reform of undergraduate teaching. He has been, for many years, a world leading and influential researcher in low dimensional topology, geometry and analysis and their inter-relationships

David’s recent work includes collaborating with Dr Mike Kahn, head of Molecular Medicine Research, and Dr Stella Pelengaris from the Department of Biological Sciences, in carrying out research into diabetes.

Members of Warwick's Mathematics Institute are very proud to have someone of David’s calibre working amongst them and even though he is retired from teaching he is still very much hard at work. A celebration party was recently held to honour David’s election to the Royal Society. The event was attended by the University’s Vice-Chancellor and work colleagues from the Mathematics Institute, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Biological Sciences.