Birthday Congratulations to Bryan Birch

13 Apr 2022, by ablahatherell in News

Caption: Attendees at the 1969 Oxford Conference on Computers in Number Theory

Birthday Congratulations to Bryan Birch

The Heilbronn Institute offers its congratulations to Professor Bryan Birch FRS on his 90th birthday. HIMR’s celebratory meeting, dated belatedly on 22 April 2022,  features lectures by Tim Browning, Francis Brown, Jennifer Balakrishnan, and Samir Siksek.

Bryan Birch was educated at Cambridge where as a doctoral student he proved Birch’s theorem, one of the results to come out of the Hardy–Littlewood circle method. He then worked with Peter Swinnerton-Dyer on computations relating to the Hasse–Weil L-functions of elliptic curves. They formulated their conjecture, which has been an influence on the development of number theory since the mid 1960s. They later introduced modular symbols. In later work Bryan formulated ideas on the role of Heegner points. He put together the context in which the Gross–Zagier theorem was proved.

Bryan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1972, and in 2020 he was awarded the Sylvester Medal for his work in driving the theory of elliptic curves through the Birch–Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture and the theory of Heegner points.