Mathematician to discuss code-breaking at Bates

Peter J. Hilton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, State University of New York at Binghamton, and Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, University of Central Florida at Orlando, will discuss “Code-breaking in World War II” at Bates College at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Keck Classroom, Pettengill Hall. The public is invited to attend the annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture, and admission is free. Refreshments will be served immediately following the lecture.

Hilton will reminisce about his experiences helping to break high-grade German ciphers passing, in World War II, between the enemy High Command and their airforce, army and fleet (especially U-boats). He also will devote special attention to his recollections of working with the famous logician Alan Turing, with whom developed a close friendship.

Hilton’s principal research interests are in alegebraic topology, homological and categorical alegebra and mathematics education. He has published 15 books and more than 500 articles in these area, some jointly with colleagues. Hilton received his M.A. degree from Oxford University and his Ph.Ds from Oxford and Cambridge universities. He has received honorary degrees from North Michigan Univeristy and the Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well as a silver medal from the University of Helsinki.

The annual Sampson Lecture at Bates is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Richard W. Sampson of Lewiston, a member of the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.