A. O. L. Atkin
Mathematician, Deceased Person
1925 – 2008
Who was A. O. L. Atkin?
As an undergraduate during World War II, Atkin worked at Bletchley Park cracking German codes. He received his Ph.D. in 1952 from the University of Cambridge, where he was one of John Littlewood's research students. During 1964–1970, he worked at the Atlas Computer Laboratory at Chilton, computing modular functions. Toward the end of his life, he was Professor Emeritus of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Atkin is also known for his work on properties of the integer partition function and the monster module. He was a vocal fan of using computers in mathematics, so long as the end goal was theoretical advance: "Each new generation of machines makes feasible a whole new range of computations; provided mathematicians pursue these rather than merely break old records for old sports, computation will have a significant part to play in the development of mathematics."