A. O. L. Atkin

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A. O. L. Atkin
Born (1925-07-31)31 July 1925
Died 28 December 2008(2008-12-28) (aged 83)
Fields Computational number theory
Known for Schoof–Elkies–Atkin algorithm, sieve of Atkin

Arthur Oliver Lonsdale Atkin (July 31, 1925 – December 28, 2008), who published under the name A. O. L. Atkin, was a British mathematician.

As an undergraduate during World War II, Atkin worked at Bletchley Park cracking German codes.[1] He received his Ph.D. in 1952 from the University of Cambridge, where he was one of John Littlewood's research students.[2] During 1964–1970, he worked at the Atlas Computer Laboratory at Chilton, computing modular functions. Toward the end of his life, he was Professor Emeritus of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Atkin, along with Noam Elkies, extended Schoof's algorithm to create the Schoof–Elkies–Atkin algorithm. Together with Daniel J. Bernstein, he developed the sieve of Atkin.

Atkin is also known for his work on properties of the integer partition function and the monster module. He was a vocal fan of using computers in mathematics, so long as the end goal was theoretical advance: "Each new generation of machines makes feasible a whole new range of computations; provided mathematicians pursue these rather than merely break old records for old sports, computation will have a significant part to play in the development of mathematics."[3]

Atkin died of hospital-acquired pneumonia on December 28, 2008, in Maywood, Illinois.[4]

Selected publications

See also


  1. "Gordon Bamford Preston".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. A. O. L. Atkin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. Birch, B. "Atkin and the Atlas Lab," in Buell, D. A. and Teitelbaum, J. T. Computational perspectives on number theory. American Mathematical Society, 1998. Pp. 13-20.
  4. "Note from Henrietta Atkin".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links