Peter Hilton

Peter Hilton

Peter John Hilton (born April 7, 1923Peter Hilton, "On all Sorts of Automorphisms", "The American Mathematical Monthly", 92(9), November 1985, p. 650] ) is a British-born mathematician, noted for his contributions to homotopy theory.


Hilton was born in London, and educated at St Paul's School."About the speaker", [ announcement] of a lecture given by Peter Hilton at Bletchley Park on 12 July 2006, accessed 18 January 2007.] He won a scholarship to The Queen's College, Oxford in 1940.

During World War II, as an undergraduate, Hilton was obliged to enrol in training with the Royal Artillery, and was scheduled for conscription in Summer 1942.Peter Hilton, "Living with Fish: Breaking Tunny in the Newmanry and the Testery", p. 190 from pp. 189-203 in Jack Copeland ed, "Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers", Oxford University Press, 2006] Instead, he was interviewed by a team touring universities looking for mathematicians with knowledge of German, and was offered a position in the Foreign Office without being told the nature of the work. The team was, in fact, recruiting on behalf of the Government Code and Cypher School. He accepted, and, aged 18, arrived at wartime codebreaking station Bletchley Park on 12 January 1942. [Hilton, "Living with Fish", p. 189]

He was initially put to work on Naval Enigma in Hut 8. In late 1942, he transferred to work on German teleprinter ciphers. A special section known as the "Testery" had been formed in July 1942 to work on one such cipher, codenamed "Tunny", and Hilton was one of early members of the group.Jerry Roberts, "Major Tester's Section", p. 250 of pp. 249-259 in Jack Copeland ed, "Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers", Oxford University Press, 2006] His role was to devise ways to deal with changes in Tunny, and to liaise with another section working on Tunny, the "Newmanry", which complemented the hand-methods of the Testery with specialised codebreaking machinery.

Hilton obtained his DPhil in 1949 from Oxford University under the supervision of John Henry Whitehead. His dissertation was titled, "Calculation of the Homotopy Groups of "A""n"2-polyhedra".David Joyner and David Kahn, editors, "Edited Transcript of Interview with Peter Hilton for "Secrets of War", in "Cryptologia" 30(3), July-September 2006, pp. 236-250]

In 1958, he became the Mason Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. He moved to the United States in 1962 to be Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University, a post he held until 1971. He was then appointed Louis D. Beaumont University Professor at Case Western Reserve University. In 1982, he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Binghamton University, becoming Emeritus in 2003. He now spends each spring semester as Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Central Florida.

Hilton constructed the 51-letter palindrome, "Doc note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod." [Jack Good, "Enigma and Fish", p. 160 from pp. 149-166 in F. H. Hinsley and Alan Strip, editors, "Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park", 1993]


* Peter J. Hilton, "An introduction to homotopy theory", Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, no. 43, Cambridge, at the University Press, 1953. ISBN 0521052653 MathSciNet| id=0056289
* Peter J. Hilton, Shaun Wylie, "Homology theory: An introduction to algebraic topology", Cambridge University Press, New York, 1960. ISBN 0521094224 MathSciNet| id=0115161
* Peter Hilton, "Homotopy theory and duality", Gordon and Breach, New York-London-Paris, 1965 ISBN 0677002955 MathSciNet| id=0198466
* Peter J. Hilton, Guido Mislin, Joe Roitberg, "Localization of nilpotent groups and spaces", North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam-Oxford, 1975. ISBN 0444107762 MathSciNet| id=0478146
* Peter J. Hilton, Urs Stammbach, "A course in homological algebra. Second edition", Graduate Texts in Mathematics, vol 4, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1997. ISBN 0-387-94823-6 MathSciNet| id=1438546


Hilton's former PhD students

Martin Arkowitz Cornell University 1960, Imre Bokor Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich 1988, Bryce Brogan Case Western Reserve University 1977, Charles Cassidy Université Laval 1977, Keith Hardie University of Cambridge 1958, Robert Hass Case Western Reserve University 1977, Paul Kainen Cornell University 1970, Paulo Leite Universidade de São Paulo 1979, Karl Lorensen State University of New York at Binghamton 1997, Robert Militello State University of New York at Binghamton 1991, Vidhyanath Rao Case Western Reserve University 1981, Heather Ries State University of New York at Binghamton 1992, Dirk Scevenels Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 1995, Christopher Schuck State University of New York at Binghamton 1992, Chia-Hui Shih Kuo Cornell University 1964, Johnnie Slagle University of Washington 1973, Michael Stewart University of Washington 1973 , Changchao Su State University of New York at Binghamton 2000, Yel-Chiang Wu Cornell University 1967, S. Yahya University of Birmingham 1962,

External links

* [ Home page at Binghamton University]
* [ "The World Celebrates Professor’s Birthday"] , at University of Central Florida

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