Mathematics and the Isle of Man

This webpage was initiated by Professor David Lewis from University College Dublin, a Manx pure mathematician who took the trouble to keep a record of the mathematical community with Manx heritage. Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of mathematicians who are either natives of the Isle of Man or members of the Manx diaspora, largely compiled by David Lewis.
Of Manx heritage myself (see below), it is my honour to have become the custodian of this webpage and to continue the archive. Any suggestions for additions to this list are welcome. Anyone in mathematics (pure or applied), mathematical physics, statistics, history of mathematics, or any other discipline using mathematics will be included provided they can show a legitimate connection with the Isle of Man. Please email Andreas Kyprianou. Apologies if some of the links are now out of date.


Keith Austin, Pure Mathematics Section, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, England
Born in Cheshire but of Manx extraction on his fathers side.
Semi-retired but still lecturing in Mathematical Education in Sheffield.
Mathematical interests - teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics, mathematical proof.

Jessica Bridson, Department of Statistics and Applied Mathematics, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
Canadian from Newfoundland, of Manx ancestry.
Mathematical interests - statistics, population modelling.

Martin R. Bridson Whitehead Professor of Pure Mathematics Previously at Dept. of  Mathematics, Imperial College, University of London, England. Manx-born. Native of Douglas. Educated at Douglas High School
Mathematical interests - geometic group theory, topology

Robert Bridson, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stanford University, California, U.S.A
Canadian from Newfoundland, brother of Jessica and so also of Manx descent.
Mathematical interests - scientific computing, applied mathematics.

Quentin L. Burrell,  formerly of Statistical Laboratory, Dept. of Mathematics, University of Manchester, England, now Senior Lecturer in Quantitatve Studies, Isle of Man International Business School
Blackpool-born but moved to the island at age 9. Educated at Douglas High School and Manchester University.
Recently retired from position of Senior Lecturer in Manchester and now back living on the island.
Chairman of Isle of Man Mathematical Society.
Mathematical interests - stochastic modelling in informetrics, mixtures of Poisson and other counting processes

Charles A. Caine
Manx-born and educated. Mathematical physicist who spent his career at University of Oxford, England, as a Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics. He is now  retired and still living in Oxford.

Mary Cannell, (1913-2000)
Born and educated in Liverpool of Manx parentage (father from Kirkmichael).
She is included as a historian of mathematics, having written the definitive biography of George Green, (famous for Greens theorem and Greens functions) - George Green : Mathematician and Physicist 1793-1841, published by the Athlone Press, London and Atlantic Highlands N.J. (1993). The second edition is being published in winter 2000 according to S.I.A.M. News. She is included in the St. Andrews History of Mathematics web page.
The George Green Memorial Fund is setting up  a Mary Cannell Memorial Scholarship. The criteria for the award will vary from year to year but the main thrust will be directed towards the greater understanding by young people of scientific principles and their application.

James W. Cannon, Department of Mathematics, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A
Great-great grandfather George Cannon and wife Angela left Peel in the first half of the 19-th century and went to Liverpool where they joined the Mormon Church. They then emigrated to the U.S. and their children crossed the plains to Utah in the Mormon migration led by Brigham Young in the 1850s.
Mathematical  interests - geometric group theory.

Lawrence O. Cannon, Department of Mathematics, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, U.S.A
Brother of James W.Cannon and hence of the same Manx lineage
Mathematical interests - topology, algebra.

Michael J. Cannon, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Son of James W.Cannon and hence of  the same Manx lineage.
Mathematical  interests- epidemiologist who uses a good deal of applied statistics in his work

Jonathan N.L. Connor, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Manchester, England
Born in Douglas  with relatives in Santon. Educated mainly off the island.
Mathematical interests - he is Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at Manchester where he applies a considerable amount of  abstract mathematics and numerical analysis to practical problems involving the dynamics of atoms and molecules.

Bruce Cooil, Owen Graduate School, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, U.S.A
Born in Honolulu. His great-grandfather emigrated from the island while still in his teens.
Mathematical  interests - latent class models for marketing and medical research, methods for evaluating qualitative data reliability, large sample estimation theory and extreme value theory.

Steve Cowin (Stephen Corteen Cowin), Professor, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering, Departments of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, City College of New York (CCNY)  of the City University of New York (CUNY).
Grandfather and father born in Douglas, grandmother (nee Burrows) born in Castletown. Grandparents married in Kirk Malew in 1888.
Mathematical interests - Continuum mechanics, Biomechanics, Biomathematics.

Robert E. Craine, Faculty of Mathematical Studies, University of Southampton, England
Manx-born. Educated at Castle Rushen High School and Manchester University
Mathematical interests - industrial applied mathematics, welding, modelling creep and failure of welded plates and pipes using Cosserat theory, stability of flows in weldpools, cerebral blood flow - autoregulation.

Warren J. Ewens, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A
Grandmother was Amy Qualtrough. Her father left the Isle of Man in the 1870s for South Australia.
Mathematical interests - mathematical population genetics, applied in evolution and also in human disease genetics.

Ben Fairfax
WebCab Components, Douglas, Isle of Man
Founder, Director and Owner of WebCab Components Ltd..
WebCab Components develops mathematical and financial software components, and so Ben can be described as doing applied research within mathematics.
Active Private Investor for own and third party funds.
Lives in Douglas but originally  from the U.K.
BSc and PhD in Mathematics from London University, UK, Cert Advanced Study of Mathematics from Cambridge University,  UK., visiting position in MIT, Massachusetts, USA.

Brian Faragher, Senior Lecturer, Organisational Psychology and Health Research Group, School of Management, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology,, United Kingdom.
Manx born, native of Onchan, educated at Douglas High School for Boys, Liverpool University, University College Wales (Aberystwyth)
Mathematical interests - medical statistics and epidemiology, with particular interest in the effects of work on health.

Catherine Hobbs , Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Oxford Brookes University, U.K.
Bristol-born but of Manx ancestry on her father's side.
Mathematical interests - applications of singularity theory, cryptography.

John G.Hocking, Emeritus Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, U.S.A
His grandmother came from the Isle of Man. I have no more details on his Manx ancestry.
Mathematical interests - topology. Co-author with Gail S. Young of a famous textbook, Topology, Addison-Wesley 1961.

John Karran,
From Port St.Mary. He did a maths degree and a Ph.D in mathematics at  Manchester University in the early 1960s and then had an academic career in the midlands of England. Currently living in the Coventry area.

Mark Kermode, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Liverpool, England
Born in Liverpool with a Manx grandfather.
Research interests - alpha-decay of deformed nuclei.
Chair of Board of Studies in Mathematics and Computing, Liverpool University, 1996-1999.

Andreas E. Kyprianou, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath
Born and raised in Manchester. Educated at Oxford University (BA) and Sheffield University (PhD). Mathematical interests - Probability theory, stochastic processes with jumps. Despite a seemingly Cypriot name, Andreas' mother (née Voirrey Blackett) is Manx from Peel. His mother came to Manchester with a scholarship in the 1960s to study Mathematics and Philosophy at Manchester University, ultimately becoming a mathematics school teacher.

David W. Lewis, Department of Mathematics, University College Dublin, Ireland
Manx-born. Native of Douglas. Educated at Douglas High School and  Liverpool University.
Mathematical interests - quadratic and hermitian forms, algebras with involution

Jon Pridham, Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge, U.K.
Manchester-born,but moved to the Island aged 10, educated at K.W.C.
Mathematical interests - algebraic geometry and algebraic topology.

Jack Quine Department of Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 3206, U.S.A.
Great-grandfather was a merchant seaman born in  the Isle of Man and who emigrated to Ohio when young.
Same lineage as W.V.O.Quine (see below)
Mathematical  interests - zeta regularized products, Riemann surfaces, mathematical biophysics.

Malcolm Quine, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney, Australia
Born in England (Burton-on-Trent) but with a Manx grandfather.
Mathematical interests - mathematical statistics and applied probability (including stochastic geometry)

Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000)
Famous Harvard logician and philosopher, born 1908, died 25 Dec 2000.
The Quine family web page traces back  the Quine genealogy for ten generations, six of them in the Isle of Man. The grandfatherof Willard Quine emigrated from Andreas to the U.S.A around about  1870 and his forebears lived in Onchan, Malew, and Ballafargher.

David B. Skillicorn, Department of Computing and Information Science, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
From Australia but now working in Canada. His ancestors emigrated from the Isle of Man to Australia in about 1845.
Mathematical interests - high-performance computing , data mining

Brian Trustrum, formerly of Mathematics Department, University of Sussex
Manx-born. Native of Port Erin and back living there now after retirement from Universityof Sussex. He was the the driving force behind the formation of the recently-founded Isle of Man Mathematical Society.
Mathematical interests - analysis, probability.

Kathleen Trustrum, formerly of Mathematics Department , University of Sussex
Wife of Brian, so Manx by marriage !
Mathematical interests- fluid mechanics, statistics.

Geoff Watterson (Ph.D., Aust. Nat. Univ.) is a mathematical geneticist, now retired, but  formerly of the Mathematics Department, Monash University, Victoria, Australia. His interests are mainly in the stochastic processes of genetic evolution, particularly the Wright-Fisher model, and Kimura's theory of neutral mutation theory.
Geoff's paternal grandfather, Samuel Faragher Watterson, was born in the Isle of Man and christened at Kirk Christ, Rushen, on 1 August 1851. Samuel, his mother Janet, her siblings, and her mother Margaret Watterson migrated to Australia in subsequent years.

Peter Watterson, Faculty of Engineeering, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Son of Geoff Watterson, so has the same Manx ancestry.
For a Ph.D. at Cambridge University, Peter Watterson solved non-linear partial differential equations related to fusion enegy magnetohydrodynamics. Since 1990 he has worked in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Technology, Sydney using optimization methods and Maxwell's equations to design electric motors, especially for artificial hearts.

Ian Watterson, CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Melbourne, Australia
Son of Geoff Watterson, so has  same Manx ancestry.
BSc (Melbourne), PhD (Harvard) in applied mathematics/meteorology.
Works in the  numerical modelling of climate and the analysis of climate change and weather patterns.

Ray Watterson
Related to Geoff Watterson.. Ray's great-grandfather was Thomas Henry Watterson (born about 1850  in the Isle of Man and married in Maryborough, Victoria in 1872). Family moved on from gold mining in Maryborough, Victoria to building and construction.
Ray has taught Mathematics Physics . Electronic and Design Technology in Victoria secondary schools  since leaving Monash University in 1975.

Samuel Watterson
Son of Ray Watterson. Samuel is working as a computer systems business analyst since leaving Deakin Univsersity where his research projects were in distributed computing and mathematical modelling  processes of search engines.

Steven Watterson, School of Mathematics, Trinity College , Dublin , Ireland
Manx born. Native of Castletown. Educated at Castle Rushen High School, Edinburgh University and Trinity College Dublin.
Works in  lattice field theory and spinor algebras

Last updated 21 March  2017 by a.kyprianou@bath.ac.uk