John Mayberry (1940-2016)

John Mayberry  passed away on 19th August. He spent his whole post-PhD career in the University of Bristol. He arrived in 1966 having taken a PhD under G. Takeuti at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His work was always in the Foundations of Mathematics and particularly set theory. He said that he felt that he had done his best work in his 60’s and indeed most of his thinking culminated in his book “The Foundations of Mathematics in the theory of sets” (Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Mathematics series, CUP 2000).  He was interested in the concept of number and the axiomatic system he devised was a theory of strictly finite sets, but with limitations on the complexity of inductions possible.  This book was well received and sparked the most interest of his work in that community, particularly on the philosophical side. John’s work was developed considerably earlier than this final publication date, and although independently thought out, there were resonances between its axiomatic system and the influential work of Sam Buss in the mid-80’s and 90’s on weak sub-systems of the standard Peano system of axioms.

John was appointed Reader in 2000 and retired in 2005, having mentored up to 14 post graduate students.


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