J. A. Todd

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J. A. Todd bigraphy, stories - English Mathematician

J. A. Todd : biography

23 August 1908 – 22 December 1994

John Arthur Todd FRS (23 August 1908 – 22 December 1994) was a British geometer. He was born in Liverpool, and went to Trinity College of the University of Cambridge in 1925. He did research under H.F. Baker, and in 1931 took a position at the University of Manchester. He became a lecturer at Cambridge in 1937. He remained at Cambridge for the rest of his working life.

The Todd class in the theory of the higher-dimensional Riemann–Roch theorem is an example of a characteristic class (or, more accurately, a reciprocal of one) that was discovered by Todd in work published in 1937. It used the methods of the Italian school of algebraic geometry. The Todd–Coxeter process for coset enumeration is a major method of computational algebra, and dates from a collaboration with H.S.M. Coxeter in 1936. In 1953 he and Coxeter discovered the Coxeter–Todd lattice. In 1954 he and G. C. Shephard classified the finite complex reflection groups.

In March 1948 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.