Date of birth : 1945-09-24
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Folkestone, Kent, England
Nationality : English
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-15
Ian Nicholas Stewart is a professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick, England, and a widely known popular-science and science-fiction writer. He is the first recipient of the Christopher Zeeman Medal, awarded jointly by the LMS and the IMA for his work on promoting mathematics.
Stewart was born in 1945 in England. While in the sixth form at school, Stewart came to the attention of the mathematics teacher. The teacher had Stewart sit mock A-level examinations without any preparation along with the upper-sixth students; Stewart placed first in the examination. This teacher arranged for Stewart to be admitted to Cambridge on a scholarship to Churchill College, where he obtained a BA in Mathematics. Stewart then went to the University of Warwick for his doctorate, on completion of which in 1969 he was offered an academic position at Warwick. He is now Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick. He is well known for his popular expositions of mathematics and his contributions to catastrophe theory.
While at Warwick he edited the mathematical magazine Manifold. He also wrote a column called "Mathematical Recreations" for Scientific American magazine for several years.
Stewart has held visiting academic positions in Germany (1974), New Zealand (1976), and the U.S. (University of Connecticut 1977–78, University of Houston 1983–84).In 1995 Stewart received the Michael Faraday Medal and in 1997 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001.
He has collaborated with Dr Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett on three popular science books based on Pratchett's Discworld. In 1999 Terry Pratchett made both Jack Cohen and Professor Ian Stewart "Honorary Wizards of the Unseen University" at the same ceremony at which the University of Warwick gave Terry Pratchett an honorary degree.
Stewart has published more than 140 scientific papers, including a series of influential papers co-authored with Jim Collins on coupled oscillators and the symmetry of animal gaits.
Stewart was married to his wife, Avril, in 1970.They met at a party at a house Avril was renting while she trained as a nurse. They have two sons. He lists his recreations as science fiction, painting, guitar, keeping fish, geology, Egyptology and snorkeling.
Mathematics and popular science:
- Another Fine Math You've Got Me Into
-Concepts of Modern Mathematics
-Does God Play Dice? The New Mathematics of Chaos
-Game, Set and Math
-Figments of Reality, with Jack Cohen
-Flatterland, Perseus Books Group, April 2001
-From Here to Infinity, first published as The Problems of Mathematics
-Life's Other Secret
-Math Hysteria,Oxford University Press, June 2004
-The Collapse of Chaos, with Jack Cohen
-The Magical Maze (1998)
-The Problems of Mathematics
- What is Mathematics? – originally by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins, second edition revised by Ian Stewart
-Evolving the Alien: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life, with Jack Cohen. Second edition published as What Does a Martian Look Like? The Science of Extraterrestrial Life
-Letters to a Young Mathematician, Basic Books, May 2006
-How to Cut a Cake: And Other Mathematical Conundrums (2006)
-Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry (2007)
-Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities (2008)
-Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (2009)
-Cows in the Maze: And Other Mathematical Explorations (2010)
-Taming the infinite: The story of Mathematics from the first numbers to chaos theory (2008)
-The Mathematics of Life (2011)
Science of Discworld series:
-The Science of Discworld, with Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett
-The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, with Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett
-The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch, with Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett
-Catastrophe Theory and its Applications, with Tim Poston, Pitman
-Algebraic number theory and Fermat's last theorem, 3rd Edition, I. Stewart, D Tall. A. K. Peters (2002)
-Galois Theory, 3rd Edition, Chapman and Hall (2000) ISBN 1-58488-393-6 Galois Theory Errata
-Wheelers, with Jack Cohen (fiction)
-Heaven, with Jack Cohen, Aspect, May 2004 (fiction)
View the full website biography of Ian Stewart.