School of Mathematics and Statistics Alumni


BSc (Hons) 1970

Here are a couple of anecdotes concerning Dr Upton, our most delightful and inspiring 1st year and 4th year lecturer.

In 1966 there were quite a few of us in Pure 1A with Dr Upton, probably around 60 or so. After that year we next saw Dr Upton at the start of Pure IV – there were then only about 20 of us. Dr Upton greeted us on the first day of term 1 with ‘It’s very nice to see some of you back again’.
Pure IV was quite heady stuff – integration over complex surfaces, venturing into the 4th (and therefore even higher) dimensions, etc. We would often leave the lecture theatre sharply shaking our heads so as to knock what we had just heard (and were expected to absorb) into some kind of normality.

One day, during an exposition on a particular theorem, Dr Upton was in the course of providing the proof on the blackboard. At one point he stated “And it’s obvious that … …” … and he paused …. and he paused …. and he paused for what seemed like a very long time while he contemplated. Then, eventually, he said “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is obvious that …”.

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