St Andrews Mathematical Colloquium, 1980

The Edinburgh Mathematical Society held the St Andrews Colloquium in St Andrews from 9 to 19 July 1980.

A picture of the 1980 Colloquium is available at THIS LINK.


  1. The Lecturers of the St Andrews Mathematical Colloquium, 1980.

    The following gave a series of lectures:


    (a) Professor Michael F Atiyah (Cambridge) - "Vector bundles in mathematics and physics."

    (b) Professor Edward B Curtis (Washington) - "Homotopy, homology and cobordism."

    (c) Professor Crispin St J A Nash-Williams (Reading) - "Selected topics in graph theory."

    The following gave single lectures:


    (d) Professor Alfred W Goldie (Leeds).

    (e) Professor Paul R Halmos (Indiana).

    (f) Professor Wilhelmus A J Luxemburg (California Institute of Technology).

    The following organised seminars:


    (g) Professor Roger W Carter (Warwick) - Algebra seminars.

    (h) Dr Graham R Allan (Cambridge) - Analysis seminars.

    (i) Professor Elmer G Rees (Edinburgh) - Topology seminars.


  2. Colin Campbell's report to the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.

    Colin Campbell was the local Colloquium organiser. He made a report to the First Ordinary meeting of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in session 1980-81. The following appears in the Minutes:


    Dr C M Campbell (CMC) reported on the 1980 St Andrews Colloquium, held from 9 to 19 July. The three main courses had been given by Professor M F Atiyah (on "Vector bundles in mathematics and physics"), Professor E B Curtis (on "Homotopy, homology and cobordism") and Professor C St. J A Nash-Williams (on "Selected topics in graph theory"). There were three individual lectures given by Professors A W Goldie, P R Halmos and W A J Luxemburg, and three seminars directed by Professor R W Carter (on Algebra), Dr G R Allan (on Analysis) and Professor E G Rees (on Topology). In addition, there were the customary social events and also, for the first time, a Colloquium dinner. There were 152 members and, due to various fortunate circumstances, there was an operating surplus of about £500.

  3. Some comments on the lecture courses.

    3.1. Nash-Williams' lecture series formed the basis of the two-part survey A glance at graph theory which he published in the Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society. He writes in the Introduction to the first part:

    This survey (to be published in two parts in successive issues of the Bulletin) is based on lectures given at the St Andrews Mathematical Colloquium in 1980. It attempts, as did the lectures, to indicate some of the achievements and problems of graph theory to mathematicians specializing in other subjects. It is therefore not aimed at experienced specialists in graph theory, although it might have some value for graduate students beginning work in the field. It makes no attempt to cover all important aspects of the subject or to achieve a fair balance between different ones, but emphasises, generally speaking, those topics which it was feasible to cover in the original lectures.
    3.2. Edmund Robertson writes:
    I had the privilege of attending these lectures which were extremely successful in meeting Nash-Williams' aim "of developing nontrivial and fairly deep mathematics from a very simple initial concept."


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School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/ems/Colloquium_1980.html