A presentation took place today (Wednesday 17th September) to mark the retiral of Professor Tom Blyth after a career spanning 40 years in the University of St Andrews’ School of Mathematics and Statistics.
Professor Blyth began his long association with the University as an undergraduate in the mid 1950s. A NATO Research Scholarship saw him transfer his studies to the Sorbonne in Paris where he gained his Doctorate in 1963, before returning to St Andrews to become a lecturer.
He gained a high reputation as a lecturer – to appreciate his courses required hard work on the part of his students, but those who were prepared to put in the effort enjoyed a real treat of mathematics at its most elegant.
His research contributions are recognised world-wide and he was elected a Membre Correspondant de la Société Royal des Sciences de Liège in 1973 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh the following year. He was appointed Professor of Pure Mathematics in 1977, and throughout his career has seen over 100 papers published. One of his monographs, Module Theory (1987) was even translated into Chinese, and he possesses a copy in which he can read nothing but his name! From 1994-98 he was Dean of the Faculty of Science.
In retirement, Professor Blyth will maintain his love for mathematics, as he says: “Research in pure mathematics is not a calling but an incurable disease!” As a final gesture, Professor Blyth will present his splendid Parisian doctoral robes to the University museum.
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