The Academic Descent to Me

How interesting, today I learned that Derek Burgess, the PhD supervisor of my PhD supervisor (Brian McMaster) was himself supervised by Frank Smithies. With a little help from the Mathematical Genealogy Project this has helped me work out my academic “parentage”.

  1. Colin Turner, Queen’s University of Belfast, 1997
  2. Brian McMaster, Queen’s University of Belfast, 1972
  3. Derek Burgess, University of Cambridge, 1951
  4. Frank Smithies, University of Cambridge, 1937
  5. G. H. Hardy, University of Cambridge
  6. Edmund Whittaker, University of Cambridge, 1895
  7. Andrew Forsyth, University of Cambridge, 1881
  8. Arthur Cayley, University of Oxford / University College Dublin / Universiteit Leiden, 1864,1865,1875
  9. William Hopkins, University of Cambridge, 1830 (Note his many famous students)
  10. Adam Sedgwick, University of Cambridge, 1811
  11. Thomas Jones, University of Cambridge, 1782
  12. Thomas Postlethwaite, University of Cambridge, 1756
  13. Stephen Whisson, University of Cambridge, 1742
  14. Walter Taylor, University of Cambridge, 1723
  15. Robert Smith, University of Cambridge, 1715
  16. Roger Cotes, University of Cambridge, 1706
  17. Isaac Newton, University of Cambridge, 1668
  18. Isaac Barrow, University of Cambridge, 1652
  19. Vincenzio Viviani
  20. Galileo Galilei, University of Pisa

I think I’ll stop there. I found this absolutely fascinating, many notable figures, and Hopkins supervised many famous figures. It’s a shame I could never hope to live up to such a line!

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