H.S.M. Coxeter was born and educated in England, but his professional connections with North America began early. Shortly after finishing his doctoral studies at Cambridge University, and while he was a research fellow there, he spent two years as a research visitor at Princeton University. In 1936 he joined the Faculty of the University of Toronto, and despite numerous mathematical visits to centres around the world, has remained here ever since.
Undoubtedly the world's best known geometer, Professor Coxeter has made contributions of fundamental importance to the Theory of Polytopes, Non-Euclidean geometry, Discrete Groups, and Combinatorial Theory, to name the areas of mathematical research for which he is best known. Endowed with artistic gifts himself, particularly in music, he gives to all mathematics that he touches an aura of beauty. He is equally at home lecturing to colleagues at an international research conference, or to gifted high school mathematics students. Along with a large and growing volume of research publications, his expository books and articles on geometry and on recreational mathematics are very popular. He is living proof that a great scholar can also be a great communicator.
Numerous honours have come to Professor Coxeter in his long and illustrious career. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honour awarded by the Governor General of Canada for lifetime achievement. He has received an honorary degree from nine universities and has been the star of attraction at several special seminars dealing with his contributions to mathematics.
(Biography courtesy of the Mathematics Survival Guide, published by the Department of Mathematics.)
Last updated: February 4, 1999