• 1919 September 22
    (b.) -
    1995 November 20


A British mathematician and logician, and a friend, student, and associate of Alan Turing, having been supervised by Turing during his PhD at the University of Cambridge (graduated 1953), where they worked together. He was born in the village of Peppard, Oxfordshire, England, and educated at Abbotsholme. He took two years of the Mathematical Tripos, at King's College, Cambridge, before enlisting for military service in 1940. During World War II he became involved in work with Alan Turing, on a speech encipherment project at Hanslope Park, and became one of Turing's lifelong friends and associates. In 1946, he completed Part III of the Mathematical Tripos, and then began studying for a PhD under Turing's supervision. He completed his thesis, On Axiomatic Systems in Mathematics and Theories in Physics, in 1952. He was a member of the Cambridge ?Apostles?. He held positions at the Universities of Leicester, Leeds, and Manchester, and was a visiting Associate Professor at Stanford from 1966 to 1967. He also held a similar position at University of California, Los Angeles in 1968. In 1969, he moved to Wolfson College, Oxford, where he became Reader in Mathematical Logic. One of the residential buildings of the college is now named in his honour. He is best-known for his work in recursion theory. His contributions include the Spector-Gandy theorem, the Gandy Stage Comparison theorem, and the Gandy Selection Theorem. He also made a significant contribution to the understanding of the Church?Turing thesis, and his generalization of the Turing machine is called a Gandy machine. In Turing?s Cathedral by George Dyson he is quoted as saying, ?The way in which he (Turing) uses concrete objects such as exercise books and printer?s ink to illustrate and control the argument is typical of his insight and originality?? ?Let us praise the uncluttered mind.?
  • Date of Birth:

    1919 September 22
  • Date of Death:

    1995 November 20
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Conducted work in recursion theory - a branch of mathematical logic that originated in the 1930s with the study of computable functions and Turing degrees
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