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Charles Fox

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17 March 1897

London, England

30 April 1977

Montreal, Canada

Charles Fox entered Sidney Sussex College Cambridge in 1915. After two years there he interrupted his studies to be part of the British Expeditionary Forces in France and was wounded in 1918. After completing his Cambridge studies he was appointed to a lectureship in Imperial College, London in 1919.

Fox emigrated to Canada in 1949 to take up an appointment at McGill University. In 1956 he was promoted to professor at McGill, a post he held until he retired in 1967. His next eight years were spent as visiting professor at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) Montreal where he continued to teach mathematics until he was close to 80 years of age.

Fox's main contributions were on hypergeometric functions , integral transforms , integral equations and the mathematics of navigation. In the theory of special functions he introduced an H-function with a formal definition. It is a type of generalisation of a hypergeometric function and related ideas can be found in the work of Pincherle , Mellin , Ferrar , Bochner and others.

He wrote only one book An introduction to the calculus of variations (1950). He wrote it because:

During my many years of teaching at London University I felt that none of the existing texts covered the subject as I would like to teach it and so I undertook the task of writing one of my own.

How many texts have been written for this reason!

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland