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Biographical entry Preston, Gordon Bamford (1925 - 2015)

28 April 1925
Workington, United Kingdom
14 April 2015
Oxford, United Kingdom


Gordon Preston was a mathematician who made major contributions in the field of semigroups. His three papers published in the Journal of the London Mathematical Society laid the foundation of inverse semigroup theory. With A. Clifford, Preston published the 2-volume The algebraic theory of semigroups (1961 and 1967) which proposed standardised definitions and terminology, a systematic treatment which united the field and was used as the standard reference for a generation of researchers. In 1963 he became Professor of Mathematics at Monash University, continuing his research until retiring in 1990.



1948 - 1950
Career position - Assistant Mathematics Master, Westminster School,. London
1950 - 1963
Career position - Teacher at Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, United Kingdom
Education - DPhil, University of Oxford
Life event - Migrated to Australia
1963 - 1990
Career position - Professor of Mathematics, Monash University
Life event - Retired

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Published resources

Book Sections

  • Preston, G. B., 'Personal reminiscences of the early history of semigroups', in Hall, T. E., Jones, P. R. and Meakin, J. C. (eds), Semigroup theory: proceedings of the Monash Conference in honour of G. B. Preston, World Scientific Publishing, Rier Edge, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1991, pp. 16-30. Details

Journal Articles

  • Haley, Anna, 'Vale Gordon Preston 28 April 1925 to 14 April 2015', Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society, vol. 44, no. 2, 2015, pp. 81-2. Details

Helen Cohn