John Stillwell

John Colin Stillwell (born 1942) is an Australian mathematician on the faculties of the University of San Francisco and Monash University.[1]

John Stillwell
Born (1942-08-12) 12 August 1942
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D,1970)
AwardsChauvenet Prize (2005)
Scientific career
Institutions1970 until 2001: Monash University
2002 to date: University of San Francisco
Doctoral advisorHartley Rogers, Jr


He was born in Melbourne, Australia and lived there until he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his doctorate.[1] He received his PhD from MIT in 1970, working under Hartley Rogers, Jr[2] who had himself worked under Alonzo Church[3] From 1970 until 2001 he taught at Monash University back in Australia and in 2002 began teaching in San Francisco.[1]


In 2005, Stillwell was the recipient of the Mathematical Association of America's prestigious Chauvenet Prize for his article “The Story of the 120-Cell,”[4] Notices of the AMS, January 2001, pp. 1724.[5] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[6]



Stillwell is the author of many textbooks and other books on mathematics including:

  • Classical Topology and Combinatorial Group Theory, 1980, ISBN 0-387-97970-0
  • Mathematics and Its History, 1989, 3rd edition 2010, ISBN 0-387-95336-1
  • Geometry of Surfaces, 1992, ISBN 0-387-97743-0
  • Elements of Algebra: Geometry, Numbers, Equations, 1994,[7] ISBN 0-387-94290-4
  • Numbers and Geometry, 1998, ISBN 0-387-98289-2
  • Elements of Number Theory, 2003, ISBN 0-387-95587-9
  • The Four Pillars of Geometry, 2005,[8] ISBN 0-387-25530-3
  • Yearning for the Impossible: The Surprising Truths of Mathematics, 2006, ISBN 1-56881-254-X[9]
  • Naive Lie Theory, 2008, ISBN 0-387-98289-2
  • Roads to Infinity, 2010, ISBN 978-1-56881-466-7
  • The Real Numbers: An Introduction to Set Theory and Analysis, 2013, ISBN 978-3319015767
  • Elements of Mathematics: From Euclid to Godel, 2016, ISBN 978-0691171685
  • Reverse Mathematics: Proofs from the Inside Out, 2018, ISBN 978-0691177175

Selected articles


  1. Profile at University of San Francisco Archived 2010-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. Story of the 120-Cell
  5. MAA awards page
  6. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-08-05.
  7. Freudenburg, Gene (1996-01-01). "Review of Elements of Algebra". The American Mathematical Monthly. 103 (2): 186–189. doi:10.2307/2975124. JSTOR 2975124.
  8. Hunacek, Mark (2007-01-01). "Review of The Four Pillars of Geometry". The Mathematical Gazette. 91 (521): 375–378. doi:10.1017/S0025557200181951. JSTOR 40378384.
  9. Biss, Daniel (June–July 2007). "Review: Yearning for the Impossible, by John Stillwell" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 54 (6): 722–723.
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