University of Birmingham Staff Papers: Papers of George Neville Watson

Scope and Content

Articles, notes, lectures and correspondence including: 2 bundles of an expanded and revised unpublished edition of A Course in Modern Analysis ; correspondence with L J Comrie's Scientific Computing Service, 1937-1938; miscellaneous correspondence, 1936-1953; lectures on Quintic Equations given in Cambridge, 1948; the continuation of functions defined by generalised hypergeometric series, 1910; summary of dissertation for the fellowship exams; various draft papers and notes for publications; Watson's table of Ramanujam's function, extended by D H Lehmer.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Neville Watson, 1886-1965. Education: St Paul's School, London; Trinity College, Cambridge. Career: Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1910-1916; 1914, Assistant Lecturer, 1915-18; Assistant Professor, University College, London; 1918-1951; Professor of Mathematics, University of Birmingham (appointed on the retirement of Professor R. S. Heath): in 1937, the Mathematics Department divided into two - for pure and applied mathematics - and Watson became Professor of Pure Mathematics. The new mathematics building, opened in 1961, was named the Watson Building in his honour.

Membership of Societies: Active member of the London Mathematical Society from 1907, holding a number of offices (member of the Council, 1918-46; honorary secretary, 1919-33, honorary editor, 1937-46, President, 1933-35 and Vice-President, 1935-36). Member of Mathematical Association (President, 1932-33).

Awards: De Morgan Medal, London Mathematical Society, 1947; Gold Medal, Royal Danish Academy, 1912; Sylvester Medal, Royal Society, 1946; honorary doctorates from Dublin and Edinburgh; honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Publications: Titles of his three books: Complex Integration and Cauchy's Theorem Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics , No. 15, Cambridge University Press, 1914; A Course of Modern Analysis (with E. T. Whittaker) Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed. 1915, 3rd ed. 1920, 4th ed. 1927 (reprinted 1935, 1940, 1946, 1950, 1952, 1958, 1962) A treatise on the theory of Bessel functions , Cambridge University Press, 1st ed. 1922, 2nd ed. 1944 ( reprinted 1952, 1958, 1962, 1966).

Reference: R. A. Rankin 'George Neville Watson' Journal of the London Mathematical Society ( 41, 1966 ).

For further reading about the University of Birmingham see: Eric Ives, Diane Drummond, Leonard Schwarz The First Civic University: Birmingham 1880-1980 An Introductory History ( The University of University of Birmingham Press. 2000 ).

Access Information

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Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited in about 1990 by the Mathematics Department at the University of Birmingham.

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