[ALGTOP-L] FW: Passing of Peter Hilton

Rudyak,Yuli B rudyak at ufl.edu
Mon Nov 8 17:30:00 EST 2010


This is for the list (if nobody else wrote)

Dr. Yuli B. Rudyak
Department of Mathematics
University of Florida
358 Little Hall
PO Box 118105
Gainesville, FL 32611-8105
TEL: (+1) 352-392-0281 ext. 319(office)
TEL: (+1) 352-381-8497(home)
FAX: (+1) 352-392-8357
URL: http://www.math.ufl.edu/~rudyak/
From: CLAS Math Department Faculty [FACULTY-MATH-CLAS at LISTS.UFL.EDU] On Behalf Of James Keesling [kees at UFL.EDU]
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 2:42 PM
To: clas-fwd-math-faculty
Subject: Passing of Peter Hilton


To:             Mathematics Faculty

From:   Jed Keesling, Chair

Re:             Passing of Peter Hilton

It is with sadness that I report the passing of Peter Hilton.  He visited our department frequently over the years and was friends with many of us.

Below is the obituary that will appear in the Birmingham newspaper.


of Binghamton

Peter Hilton, 87, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Binghamton
University, died on Saturday, November 6, 2010. He is survived by his wife
Margaret, sons and daughter-in-law, Nicholas Hilton, Binghamton and Timothy
and Catherine Hilton, Seattle, Wa., two grandsons, one great granddaughter
and brother and sister-in-law,  Dr. Sydney and Mary Hilton, North Wales, U.K.

Peter was born in London, and educated at Oxford University. During World
War II, at age 18, he was recruited from Oxford, because of his mathematical
ability and knowledge of German, to work at Bletchley Park, the secret
British facility dedicated to breaking German codes.  This project was led
by Alan Turing, the celebrated mathematician and founder of computer
science, with whom the young Peter Hilton worked closely. Initially, Peter
worked on breaking the Enigma code, and, later, on the more refined Fish
code. Once the British Official Secrets Act was lifted in the 1980's, his
lectures about the years at Bletchley Park were highly popular at venues all
over the world. He gave several such lectures at Binghamton University.

After the War Peter obtained his doctorate from Oxford.  Peter went on to
hold academic positions at Cambridge and Manchester Universities, and a
Chair at the University of Birmingham.   In 1962, he moved to the United
States where he was Professor of Mathematics, first at Cornell, then at the
University of Washington and the Battelle Institute. He held the Louis D.
Beaumont Chair at Case Western Reserve University for a number of years,
ending in 1982 when he became Distinguished Professor at Binghamton
University, retiring in 1995.

Peter Hilton was one of the most influential mathematicians of his
generation. He made major contributions to algebraic topology and
homological algebra. His influence on these subjects has been profound. In
his later years he was also a significant figure in Mathematics Education,
especially in Continental Europe. He published hundreds of research articles
and many books on mathematics and mathematics education, and he lectured at
conferences into his mid-eighties.

Funeral services will be private.  Peter's family will welcome friends to a
celebration of his life the date and time of which will be announced
shortly. Memorial contributions in Peter's name may be made to the Southern
Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104.Expressions
of sympathy for the family may be forwarded to www.demunnfh.com.
Arrangements for the family are directed by DeMunn Funeral Home.

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