‚ÄčRoy Chisholm (1926 - 2015)

Trinity College, Dublin (1963-65)

Our two years in Ireland were difficult. Alison was born just before Christmas, and was ill for a long time. Unusually, we had several other quite serious illnesses and injuries, and my father died in 1964. We had not realised that the ancient religious apartheid still dominated Irish life, and we were excluded from Catholic squash clubs and butchers! Our worst crime was to send our two young children to the best school in south Dublin - attached to a progressive Dominican convent: we and our children were regarded by some as traitors to the Protestant Ascendency. Also, I felt that I was in a continual fight with TCD authorities for resources which I had insisted on at my interview, and for reasonable conditions for running the School of Mathematics; this feeling was shared by my successive professorial colleagues Heini Halberstam and Gabor Dirac.

Despite these difficulties and a very high teaching load, I managed to do some research in Dublin. My main result was an analytic theorem on convergence of sequences of Pade approximants (ref 13); I learnt that the main problem was to pin down the location of singularities of the approximants. I also completed the paper on Pauli spin matrices (ref 12), and kept up a technical correspondance with Mike Levine at La Jolla.

Early in 1965, I decided that I would leave TCD, and took up an invitation from John Gammel, now Professor of Theoretical Physics at Texas A&M University, to visit there for a year. I also applied for posts elsewhere. I was very pleased to be offered a full Professorship in Mathematics at Toronto, and, ten days before we left for Texas, the Chair of Applied Mathematics at the new University of Kent at Canterbury. It would have been a great honour to be a colleague of Coxeter and other eminent mathematicians in Toronto, but we decided that we would like to bring our family up in England. We have never regretted our choice to move to Canterbury.