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WITELSON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-12 published
'He kept a little flame of geometry alive'
Superstar University of Toronto mathematician considered himself an artist, but his seminal work inevitably found practical applications
By Siobhan ROBERTS Saturday, April 12, 2003 - Page F11
Widely considered the greatest classical geometer of his time and the man who saved his discipline from near extinction, Harold Scott MacDonald COXETER, who died on March 31 at 96, said of himself, with characteristic modesty, "I am like any other artist. It just so happens that what fills my mind is shapes and numbers."
Prof. COXETER's work focused on hyperdimensional shapes, specifically the symmetry of regular figures and polytopes. Polytopes are geometric shapes of any number of dimensions that cannot be constructed in the real world and can be visualized only when the eye of the beholder possesses the necessary insight; they are most often described mathematically and sometimes can be represented with hypnotically intricate fine-line drawings.
"I like things that can be seen," Prof. COXETER once remarked. "You have to imagine a different world where these queer things have some kind of shape."
Known as Donald (shortened from MacDonald,) Prof. COXETER had such a passion for his work and unrivalled elegance in constructing and writing proofs that he motivated countless mathematicians to pick up the antiquated discipline of geometry long after it had been deemed passť.
John Horton CONWAY, the Von Neumann professor of mathematics at Princeton University, never studied under Prof. COXETER, but he considers himself an honorary student because of the COXETERian nature of his work.
"With math, what you're doing is trying to prove something and that can get very complicated and ugly. COXETER always manages to do it clearly and concisely," Prof. CONWAY said. "He kept a little flame of geometry alive by doing such beautiful works himself.
"I'm reminded of a quotation from Walter Pater's book The Renaissance. He was describing art and poetry, but he talks of a small, gem-like flame: 'To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.' "
Prof. COXETER's oeuvre included more than 250 papers and 12 books. His Introduction to Geometry, published in 1961, is now considered a classic -- it is still in print and this year is back on the curriculum at McGill University. His Regular Polytopes is considered by some as the modern-day addendum to Euclid's Elements. In 1957, he published Generators and Relations for Discrete Groups, written jointly with his PhD student and lifelong friend Willy MOSER. It is currently in its seventh edition.
Prof. COXETER's self-image as an artist was validated by his Friendship with and influence on Dutch artist M. C. ESCHER, who, when working on his Circle Limit 3 drawings, used to say, "I'm Coxetering today."
They met at the International Mathematical Congress in Amsterdam in 1954 and then corresponded about their mutual interest in repeating patterns and representations of infinity. In a letter to his son, Mr. ESCHER noted that a diagram sent to him by Prof. COXETER that inspired his Circle Limit 3 prints "gave me quite a shock."
He added that " COXETER's hocus-pocus text is no use to me at all.... I understand nothing, absolutely nothing of it."
While Mr. ESCHER claimed total ignorance of math, Prof. COXETER wrote numerous papers on the Dutchman's "intuitive geometry."
Though Prof. COXETER did geometry for its own sake, his work inevitably found practical application. Buckminster FULLER encountered his work in the construction of his geodesic domes. He later dedicated a book to Prof. COXETER: "By virtue of his extraordinary life's work in mathematics, Prof. COXETER is the geometer of our bestirring twentieth century. [He is] the spontaneously acclaimed terrestrial curator of the historical inventory of the science of pattern analysis."
Prof. COXETER's work with icosohedral symmetries served as a template of sorts in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Carbon 60 molecule. It has also proved relevant to other specialized areas of science such as telecommunications, data mining, topology and quasi-crystals.
In 1968, Prof. COXETER added to his list of converts an anonymous society of French mathematicians, the Bourbakis, who actively and internationally sought to eradicate classical geometry from the curriculum of math education.
"Death to Triangles, Down with Euclid!" was the Bourbaki war cry. Prof. COXETER's rebuttal: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But the Bourbakis were sadly mistaken."
One member of the society, Pierre CARTIER, met Prof. COXETER in Montreal and became enamoured of his work. Soon, he had persuaded his fellow Bourbakis to include Prof. COXETER's approach in their annual publication. "An entire volume of Bourbaki was thoroughly inspired by the work of COXETER," said Prof. CARTIER, a professor at Denis Diderot University in Paris.
In the 1968 volume, Prof. COXETER's name was writ large into the lexicon of mathematics with the inauguration of the terms "COXETER number," " COXETER group" and "COXETER graph."
These concepts describe symmetrical properties of shapes in multiple dimensions and helped to bridge the old-fashioned classical geometry with the more au courant and applied algebraic side of the discipline. These concepts continue to pervade geometrical discourse, several decades after being discovered by Prof. COXETER.
Prof. COXETER became a serious mathematician at the relatively late age of 14, though family folklore has it that, as a toddler, he liked to stare at the columns of numbers in the financial pages of his father's newspaper.
He was born into a Quaker family in Kensington, just west of London, on February 9, 1907. His mother, Lucy GEE, was a landscape artist and portrait painter, and his father, Harold, was a manufacturer of surgical instruments, though his great love was sculpting.
They had originally named their son MacDonald Scott COXETER, but a godparent suggested that the boy's father's name should be added at the front. Another relative then pointed out that H.M.S. COXETER made him sound like a ship of the royal fleet so the names were switched around.
When Prof. COXETER was 12, he created his own language -- "Amellaibian" a cross between Latin and French, and filled a 126-page notebook with information on the imaginary world where it was spoken.
But more than anything he fancied himself a composer, writing several piano concertos, a string quartet and a fugue. His mother took her son and his musical compositions to Gustav HOLST. His advice: "Educate him first."
He was then sent to boarding school, where he met John Flinders PETRIE, son of Egyptologist Sir Flinders PETRIE. The two were passing time at the infirmary contemplating why there were only five Platonic solids -- the cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron. They then began visualizing what these shapes might look like in the fourth dimension. At the age of 15, Prof. COXETER won a school prize for an English essay on how to project these geometric shapes into higher dimensions -- he called it "Dimensional Analogy."
Prof. COXETER's father took his son along with his essay to meet friend and fellow pacifist Bertrand RUSSELL. Mr. RUSSELL recommended Prof. COXETER to mathematician E.H. NEVILLE, a scout, of sorts, for mathematics prodigies. He was impressed by Prof. COXETER's work but appalled by some inexcusable gaps in his mathematical knowledge. Prof. NEVILLE arranged for private tutelage in pursuit of a scholarship at Cambridge. During this period, Prof. COXETER was forbidden from thinking in the fourth dimension, except on Sundays.
He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1926 and was among five students handpicked by Ludwig WITTGENSTEIN for his philosophy of mathematics class. During his first year at Cambridge, at the age of 19, he discovered a new regular polyhedron that had six hexagonal faces at each vertex.
After graduating with first-class honours in 1929, he received his doctorate under H. F. BAKER in 1931, winning the coveted Smith's Prize for his thesis.
Prof. COXETER did fellowship stints back and forth between Princeton and Cambridge for the next few years, focusing on the mathematics of kaleidoscopes -- he had mirrors specially cut and hinged together and carried them in velvet pouches sewn by his mother. By 1933, he had enumerated the n-dimensional kaleidoscopes -- that is, kaleidoscopes operating up to any number of dimensions.
The concepts that became known as COXETER groups are the complex algebraic equations he developed to express how many images may be seen of any object in a kaleidoscope (he once used a paper triangle with the word "nonsense" printed on it to track reflections).
In 1936, Prof. COXETER was offered an assistant professorship at the University of Toronto. He made the move shortly after the sudden death of his father and following his marriage to Rien BROUWER. She was from the Netherlnds and he met her while she was on holiday in London.
As a professor, Prof. COXETER was known to flout set curriculum. Ed BARBEAU, now a professor at the U of T, recalled that at the start of his classes, Prof. COXETER would spread out a manuscript on the desks at the front of the room. During his lecture, he would often pause for minutes at a time to make notes when a student offered something that might be relevant to his work in progress. When the work was later published, students were pleasantly surprised to find that their suggestions had been duly credited.
Prof. COXETER was also known to show up to class carrying a pineapple, or a giant sunflower from his garden, demonstrating the existence of geometric principles in nature. And he was notorious for leaping over details, expecting students to fill in the rest.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's resident intellectual, Lister SINCLAIR, was one of Prof. COXETER's earliest students. He once recounted that Prof. COXETER would "write an expression on the board and you could see it talking to him. It was like Michelangelo walking around a block of marble and seeing what's in there."
Asia Ivic WEISS, a professor at York University, Prof. COXETER's last PhD student and the only woman so honoured, describes an incident that perfectly exemplifies Prof. COXETER's math myopia. Going into labour with her first child, she called him to cancel their weekly meeting. Prof. COXETER, who never acknowledged her pregnancy, said not to worry, he would send over a stack of research to keep her busy when she got home from the hospital.
Despite several offers from other universities, Prof. COXETER stayed at University of Toronto throughout his career.
Like his father, he was a pacifist. In 1997, he was among those who marched a petition to the university president's office to protest against an honorary degree being conferred on George BUSH Sr. Prof. COXETER recalled with disdain Robert PRITCHARD's telling him, "Donald, I have more important things to worry about."
After his official retirement in 1977, Prof. COXETER continued as a professor emeritus, making weekly visits to his office. These subsided only in the past several months. On the weekend before his death, he finished revisions on his final paper, which he had delivered the previous summer in Budapest.
In his last five years, he survived a heart attack, a broken hip (he sprung himself from the hospital early to drive to a geometry conference in Wisconsin) and, most recently, prostate cancer.
Considering his 96 years of vegetarianism and a strict exercise regime, he felt betrayed by his body. "I feel like the man of Thermopylae who doesn't do anything properly," he commented recently after an awkward evening out, quoting nonsense poet Edward LEAR.
Prof. COXETER died in his home, with three long last breaths, just before bed on the last day of March.
His brain is now undergoing study at McMaster University, along with that of Albert EINSTEIN. Neuroscientist Sandra WITELSON is tryng to determine whether his brain's extraordinary capacities are associated with its structure.
Prof. COXETER met with her at the beginning of March and learned that the atypical elements of Einstein's brain, compared with an average brain, were symmetrical on both right and left sides.
Prof. WITELSON said she wondered whether there might be similar findings with Prof. COXETER's brain. "Isn't that nice," he said. "I suppose that would indicate all my interest in symmetry was well founded."
Prof. COXETER leaves his daughter Susan and son Edgar. His wife died in 1999.
Siobhan ROBERTS is a Toronto writer whose biography of Donald COXETER will be published by Penguin in 2005.

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WITHROW o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-19 published
He gave his city artistic merit
Windsor gallery's longtime director built a fine collection in his pursuit of 'communal pride'
By Bill GLADSTONE Special to The Globe and Mail Saturday, July 19, 2003 - Page F9
Canada's art world is lamenting the end of an era with the demise of Kenneth SALTMARCHE, founding director of the Art Gallery of Windsor, who died in Toronto on July 3 at the age of 82.
An accomplished artist, Mr. SALTMARCHE ultimately made his greatest mark as an arts administrator and is being remembered as one of the last of a dying generation of artists-turned-gallery directors who revitalized the art scene across the country.
Hired in 1946 to oversee operations of what was then the Willistead Art Gallery in Windsor, Ontario, he transformed the facility from a room on the second floor of the municipal library into a leading regional institution that possessed an astute collection of nearly 3,000 works by the time he retired in 1985.
"The gallery really had a very simple and rather primitive beginning, and he built it from absolute scratch, from zero," said Bill WITHROW, former longtime director of the Art Gallery of Ontario. "I was always impressed with that fact."
As a collector, Mr. SALTMARCHE is remembered for having "a good eye" and for acquiring many works by artists initially considered out of the mainstream, such as Harold Town and Prudence Heward. Over time his judgment was proved sound as a favoured artist's reputation would soar, along with the market value of his or her works.
He concentrated on attaining both historical and contemporary Canadian works, including numerous canvases of the Group of Seven, thus laying the foundation of the gallery's present collection of more than 5,000 pieces.
"He often collected against the current, which means you can make a dollar go a lot further," said David SILCOX, managing director of Sotheby's Canada. "He bought people when they weren't popular -- he was very intelligent that way."
Alf BOGUSKY, director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, calls the collection Mr. SALTMARCHE assembled a "magnificent accomplishment" that reflects "the beautiful story of the development of Canadian painting, as represented by the earliest formal portraiture by British and French artists right through to the contemporary period of the Seventies."
Known for his energetic vision, Mr. SALTMARCHE had a knack for drumming up community involvement through innovative programs such as Art in the Park, now a long-established annual event in Windsor. Aided by his wife Judy, he made the gallery a vibrant centre of cultural life and charmed volunteers and patrons alike to new heights of involvement and philanthropy.
Aware of the advantages of being situated at Canada's southernmost border point, he cultivated friendly relations with the Detroit Institute of Arts, situated across the river and a few city blocks away, even sending over exhibitions of Canadian art. In the mid-1950s, he scored a major coup by persuading his U.S. counterparts that a key work languishing in their collection would have a much more appreciative home in Canada.
As a result, the Detroit Institute of Arts donated A Side Street Group of Seven stalwart Lawren Harris's celebrated 1919 painting of a snow-covered Toronto street -- to the Willistead gallery as a gift in commemoration of Windsor's 100th birthday. (Tom Thomson's 1914 painting Algonquin Park came into the gallery's possession in the same period.)
When nine previously unknown early 19th-century watercolours by early bureaucrat-painter George Heriot appeared on the market in 1967, Mr. SALTMARCHE was determined to acquire them despite their "distinctly Old Master price tag" exceeding $45,000. He quickly raised three-quarters of the sum from Windsor residents, then convinced the Canada Council into making an exceptional grant of $10,000 to complete the purchase.
Mr. SALTMARCHE saw collecting as "an art museum's primary function," and once wrote: "Communal pride -- whether civic or national in scale -- is engendered by the owning of works of art of outstanding value and is a completely natural reason for assembling a permanent collection."
He struggled with the library board for years to make the gallery an autonomous institution, and his eventual success was seen as a milestone by directors of other regional galleries. In the early 1970s, he moved the gallery into a historic renovated brewery building. It later ceded those premises to the province (for use as a casino) and moved into a prominent new downtown building in 2001.
Born September 29, 1920, in Cardiff, Wales, Kenneth Charles SALTMARCHE arrived in Windsor with his family at the age of four, and moved with them to the village of Vienna, south of London, Ontario, during the Depression. It was in Vienna's one-room schoolhouse that he encountered the travelling exhibition of Group of Seven reproductions that inspired him to dedicate his future to art. "He always told me that seeing that show was the pivotal point in his passion for art," said his son Noel.
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, he began programming at the Willistead Art Gallery about 1946; he also began to write art and music criticism for the Windsor Daily Star and painting landscapes, still lifes and family portraits. In 1947, he married Judith DAVIES, and they had NoŽl and his twin brother David two years later. His family often joined him on painting expeditions around the world, some of which resulted in solo exhibitions of art.
He was a member of the Order of Canada and held an honorary law degree from the University of Windsor. As well, he was the founding president of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and a founding member and past president of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization.
Soon after Judith died in 1992, he painted a series of watercolours "and that was the last work he did," NoŽl said. Afflicted with senile dementia, he spent his last years in several retirement homes and then a nursing home, Castleview Wychwood, in Toronto.
Predeceased by brothers Ronald and Leslie as well as his wife, Mr. SALTMARCHE leaves NoŽl and David, daughters-in-law Deb and Anita, and four grandchildren, all of Toronto.

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WITTE o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-07-23 published
Keith E. SCHINBECKLER
Keith E. "Pickle" SCHINBECKLER, 75, of Columbia City, Indiana, USA, died at 9: 25 a.m. Thursday, July 10, 2003 at his son's residence in Carmel. Born on August 22, 1927 in Columbia City, he was a son of Homer Albert and Vera Marie (LEONARD) SCHINBECKLER. He graduated from Columbia City High School with the class of 1945, and the classes of 1956 and 1961 at Indiana University with a bachelors and masters degree. A lifelong resident of Tri Lakes, he was a World War II veteran as a Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force from 1945 to 1947. On July 12, 1952 he was united in marriage to Joanne WITTE at Trinity English Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne. She is deceased. A retired teacher for Fort Wayne Community School, having taught at James S. Smart School, Weiser Park Middle School and Northrop High School, he was also a member of Peabody Public Library Board of Directors, Indiana State Teachers Association and Jaguar Owners Club of North American. Survivors include two sons, H. David (Luanne) SCHINBECKLER of Mindemoya, Ontario Canada, and Thomas E. (Amy) SCHINBECKLER of Carmel, a brother, Don (Marlowe) SCHINBECKLER of South Whitley, two sisters, Carole SCHINBECKLER of Columbia City, and Barbara (Herbert) SCHNABEL of Midlothian, VA, and six grandchildren. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a sister, Maxine SCHINBECKLER.
Visitation was from 5 to 8p.m. Saturday, July 12 at DeMoneyGrimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive in Columbia City. According to Mr. SCHINBECKLER's wishes, there was no funeral service. A private burial took place on Monday at Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne.
Memorials my be given in Mr. SCHINBECKLER's memory to Peabody Public
Library. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

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WITTGENSTEIN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-12 published
'He kept a little flame of geometry alive'
Superstar University of Toronto mathematician considered himself an artist, but his seminal work inevitably found practical applications
By Siobhan ROBERTS Saturday, April 12, 2003 - Page F11
Widely considered the greatest classical geometer of his time and the man who saved his discipline from near extinction, Harold Scott MacDonald COXETER, who died on March 31 at 96, said of himself, with characteristic modesty, "I am like any other artist. It just so happens that what fills my mind is shapes and numbers."
Prof. COXETER's work focused on hyperdimensional shapes, specifically the symmetry of regular figures and polytopes. Polytopes are geometric shapes of any number of dimensions that cannot be constructed in the real world and can be visualized only when the eye of the beholder possesses the necessary insight; they are most often described mathematically and sometimes can be represented with hypnotically intricate fine-line drawings.
"I like things that can be seen," Prof. COXETER once remarked. "You have to imagine a different world where these queer things have some kind of shape."
Known as Donald (shortened from MacDonald,) Prof. COXETER had such a passion for his work and unrivalled elegance in constructing and writing proofs that he motivated countless mathematicians to pick up the antiquated discipline of geometry long after it had been deemed passť.
John Horton CONWAY, the Von Neumann professor of mathematics at Princeton University, never studied under Prof. COXETER, but he considers himself an honorary student because of the COXETERian nature of his work.
"With math, what you're doing is trying to prove something and that can get very complicated and ugly. COXETER always manages to do it clearly and concisely," Prof. CONWAY said. "He kept a little flame of geometry alive by doing such beautiful works himself.
"I'm reminded of a quotation from Walter Pater's book The Renaissance. He was describing art and poetry, but he talks of a small, gem-like flame: 'To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.' "
Prof. COXETER's oeuvre included more than 250 papers and 12 books. His Introduction to Geometry, published in 1961, is now considered a classic -- it is still in print and this year is back on the curriculum at McGill University. His Regular Polytopes is considered by some as the modern-day addendum to Euclid's Elements. In 1957, he published Generators and Relations for Discrete Groups, written jointly with his PhD student and lifelong friend Willy MOSER. It is currently in its seventh edition.
Prof. COXETER's self-image as an artist was validated by his Friendship with and influence on Dutch artist M. C. ESCHER, who, when working on his Circle Limit 3 drawings, used to say, "I'm Coxetering today."
They met at the International Mathematical Congress in Amsterdam in 1954 and then corresponded about their mutual interest in repeating patterns and representations of infinity. In a letter to his son, Mr. ESCHER noted that a diagram sent to him by Prof. COXETER that inspired his Circle Limit 3 prints "gave me quite a shock."
He added that " COXETER's hocus-pocus text is no use to me at all.... I understand nothing, absolutely nothing of it."
While Mr. ESCHER claimed total ignorance of math, Prof. COXETER wrote numerous papers on the Dutchman's "intuitive geometry."
Though Prof. COXETER did geometry for its own sake, his work inevitably found practical application. Buckminster FULLER encountered his work in the construction of his geodesic domes. He later dedicated a book to Prof. COXETER: "By virtue of his extraordinary life's work in mathematics, Prof. COXETER is the geometer of our bestirring twentieth century. [He is] the spontaneously acclaimed terrestrial curator of the historical inventory of the science of pattern analysis."
Prof. COXETER's work with icosohedral symmetries served as a template of sorts in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Carbon 60 molecule. It has also proved relevant to other specialized areas of science such as telecommunications, data mining, topology and quasi-crystals.
In 1968, Prof. COXETER added to his list of converts an anonymous society of French mathematicians, the Bourbakis, who actively and internationally sought to eradicate classical geometry from the curriculum of math education.
"Death to Triangles, Down with Euclid!" was the Bourbaki war cry. Prof. COXETER's rebuttal: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But the Bourbakis were sadly mistaken."
One member of the society, Pierre CARTIER, met Prof. COXETER in Montreal and became enamoured of his work. Soon, he had persuaded his fellow Bourbakis to include Prof. COXETER's approach in their annual publication. "An entire volume of Bourbaki was thoroughly inspired by the work of COXETER," said Prof. CARTIER, a professor at Denis Diderot University in Paris.
In the 1968 volume, Prof. COXETER's name was writ large into the lexicon of mathematics with the inauguration of the terms "COXETER number," " COXETER group" and "COXETER graph."
These concepts describe symmetrical properties of shapes in multiple dimensions and helped to bridge the old-fashioned classical geometry with the more au courant and applied algebraic side of the discipline. These concepts continue to pervade geometrical discourse, several decades after being discovered by Prof. COXETER.
Prof. COXETER became a serious mathematician at the relatively late age of 14, though family folklore has it that, as a toddler, he liked to stare at the columns of numbers in the financial pages of his father's newspaper.
He was born into a Quaker family in Kensington, just west of London, on February 9, 1907. His mother, Lucy GEE, was a landscape artist and portrait painter, and his father, Harold, was a manufacturer of surgical instruments, though his great love was sculpting.
They had originally named their son MacDonald Scott COXETER, but a godparent suggested that the boy's father's name should be added at the front. Another relative then pointed out that H.M.S. COXETER made him sound like a ship of the royal fleet so the names were switched around.
When Prof. COXETER was 12, he created his own language -- "Amellaibian" a cross between Latin and French, and filled a 126-page notebook with information on the imaginary world where it was spoken.
But more than anything he fancied himself a composer, writing several piano concertos, a string quartet and a fugue. His mother took her son and his musical compositions to Gustav HOLST. His advice: "Educate him first."
He was then sent to boarding school, where he met John Flinders PETRIE, son of Egyptologist Sir Flinders PETRIE. The two were passing time at the infirmary contemplating why there were only five Platonic solids -- the cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron. They then began visualizing what these shapes might look like in the fourth dimension. At the age of 15, Prof. COXETER won a school prize for an English essay on how to project these geometric shapes into higher dimensions -- he called it "Dimensional Analogy."
Prof. COXETER's father took his son along with his essay to meet friend and fellow pacifist Bertrand RUSSELL. Mr. RUSSELL recommended Prof. COXETER to mathematician E.H. NEVILLE, a scout, of sorts, for mathematics prodigies. He was impressed by Prof. COXETER's work but appalled by some inexcusable gaps in his mathematical knowledge. Prof. NEVILLE arranged for private tutelage in pursuit of a scholarship at Cambridge. During this period, Prof. COXETER was forbidden from thinking in the fourth dimension, except on Sundays.
He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1926 and was among five students handpicked by Ludwig WITTGENSTEIN for his philosophy of mathematics class. During his first year at Cambridge, at the age of 19, he discovered a new regular polyhedron that had six hexagonal faces at each vertex.
After graduating with first-class honours in 1929, he received his doctorate under H. F. BAKER in 1931, winning the coveted Smith's Prize for his thesis.
Prof. COXETER did fellowship stints back and forth between Princeton and Cambridge for the next few years, focusing on the mathematics of kaleidoscopes -- he had mirrors specially cut and hinged together and carried them in velvet pouches sewn by his mother. By 1933, he had enumerated the n-dimensional kaleidoscopes -- that is, kaleidoscopes operating up to any number of dimensions.
The concepts that became known as COXETER groups are the complex algebraic equations he developed to express how many images may be seen of any object in a kaleidoscope (he once used a paper triangle with the word "nonsense" printed on it to track reflections).
In 1936, Prof. COXETER was offered an assistant professorship at the University of Toronto. He made the move shortly after the sudden death of his father and following his marriage to Rien BROUWER. She was from the Netherlnds and he met her while she was on holiday in London.
As a professor, Prof. COXETER was known to flout set curriculum. Ed BARBEAU, now a professor at the U of T, recalled that at the start of his classes, Prof. COXETER would spread out a manuscript on the desks at the front of the room. During his lecture, he would often pause for minutes at a time to make notes when a student offered something that might be relevant to his work in progress. When the work was later published, students were pleasantly surprised to find that their suggestions had been duly credited.
Prof. COXETER was also known to show up to class carrying a pineapple, or a giant sunflower from his garden, demonstrating the existence of geometric principles in nature. And he was notorious for leaping over details, expecting students to fill in the rest.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's resident intellectual, Lister SINCLAIR, was one of Prof. COXETER's earliest students. He once recounted that Prof. COXETER would "write an expression on the board and you could see it talking to him. It was like Michelangelo walking around a block of marble and seeing what's in there."
Asia Ivic WEISS, a professor at York University, Prof. COXETER's last PhD student and the only woman so honoured, describes an incident that perfectly exemplifies Prof. COXETER's math myopia. Going into labour with her first child, she called him to cancel their weekly meeting. Prof. COXETER, who never acknowledged her pregnancy, said not to worry, he would send over a stack of research to keep her busy when she got home from the hospital.
Despite several offers from other universities, Prof. COXETER stayed at University of Toronto throughout his career.
Like his father, he was a pacifist. In 1997, he was among those who marched a petition to the university president's office to protest against an honorary degree being conferred on George BUSH Sr. Prof. COXETER recalled with disdain Robert PRITCHARD's telling him, "Donald, I have more important things to worry about."
After his official retirement in 1977, Prof. COXETER continued as a professor emeritus, making weekly visits to his office. These subsided only in the past several months. On the weekend before his death, he finished revisions on his final paper, which he had delivered the previous summer in Budapest.
In his last five years, he survived a heart attack, a broken hip (he sprung himself from the hospital early to drive to a geometry conference in Wisconsin) and, most recently, prostate cancer.
Considering his 96 years of vegetarianism and a strict exercise regime, he felt betrayed by his body. "I feel like the man of Thermopylae who doesn't do anything properly," he commented recently after an awkward evening out, quoting nonsense poet Edward LEAR.
Prof. COXETER died in his home, with three long last breaths, just before bed on the last day of March.
His brain is now undergoing study at McMaster University, along with that of Albert EINSTEIN. Neuroscientist Sandra WITELSON is tryng to determine whether his brain's extraordinary capacities are associated with its structure.
Prof. COXETER met with her at the beginning of March and learned that the atypical elements of Einstein's brain, compared with an average brain, were symmetrical on both right and left sides.
Prof. WITELSON said she wondered whether there might be similar findings with Prof. COXETER's brain. "Isn't that nice," he said. "I suppose that would indicate all my interest in symmetry was well founded."
Prof. COXETER leaves his daughter Susan and son Edgar. His wife died in 1999.
Siobhan ROBERTS is a Toronto writer whose biography of Donald COXETER will be published by Penguin in 2005.

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WITTY o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-03-05 published
Fanny (WARD) FOGAL
In loving memory of Fanny (WARD) FOGAL April 18, 1905 to February 28, 2003.
Fanny FOGAL, a resident of the Manitoulin Lodge, Gore Bay, passed away at the Lodge on Friday, February 28, 2003 at the age of 97 years.
She was born in Allan Township daughter of the late Charles H and Fanny (BOWSER) WARD. She was a member of the United Church, loved hunting and gardening and enjoyed knitting and making quilts. Fanny was a hard working farm wife and mother, and will be fondly remembered for her pride, love and enjoyment of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Predeceased be her beloved husband Nelson FOGAL. Loving and loved mother of Gurtie NOBLE and husband Arden, Alford FOGAL and wife Doreen all of Gordon Township. Predeceased by one son Emerson and three daughters Dorothy, Elva and Gladys. Dear sister of Sarah WITTY, Charles and Matthew WARD all predeceased. Dear grandmother of 8 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Friends called the Culgin Funeral Home on Sunday March 2, 2003. The funeral service was held on Monday March 3, 2002 from the Wm G. Turner Chapel of the Culgin Funeral Home with Pastor Erwin Thompson officiating. Interment in Gordon Cemetery in the spring.

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WITTY o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-05-21 published
Nellie Eveleen NOLAND
Nellie NOLAND, a resident of Bayside Apartments, Gore Bay, passed away at the Mindemoya Hospital on Monday, May 19, 2003 at the age of 84 years.
She was born in Burpee Township, daughter of the late Thomas and Flora SCOTT) WITTY. Nellie worked hard all her life on the farm, cleaning camps and cottages and raising her family. She enjoyed cooking, baking, sewing, knitting and crocheting many items for all her family and the community. She was a member of the United Church and Mills Womenís Institute for many years. A loving and loved mother, grandmother, and friend, she will be sadly missed, but memories will be cherished.
Dearly loved and loving wife of the late George E. NOLAND, loving and loved mother of Frederick (predeceased Oct 10 1939,) Doris MIDDAUGH (husband Raymond) of Mills, Willard NOLAND (wife Donna) of Mills, and Margery VEAUDRY (husband Rheo, Ray) of Providence Bay. Dear brother of Ken WITTY of Thessalon. Predeceased by sisters Ruby and Bella and brothers Willard, James and Grant. Dear grandmother of 14 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Also survived by a number of nieces and nephews. Relatives and Friends will meet at the Burpee-Mills Cemetery on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 11: 00 am for a graveside service. The Reverend Geraldine BOULD will officiate. There will be no funeral home visitation at Nellieís request.

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WITTY o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-06-11 published
Floyd Douglas BELL
In loving memory of Floyd Douglas BELL who passed away Saturday evening, June 7, 2003 at the Extendicare York Nursing' Home Sudbury.
Beloved husband of 52 years, of Jessie (HONESS) BELL of Val Caron. Loving father of Donna (husband Ches WITTY,) Marian (husband Bruce ELOFSON), Jeff (wife Debbie), Joanne (husband Bob LAPP) and Lila (friend Glen BATEMAN.) Cherished grandfather of Derek, Trevor, Dylan, Evan, Leanne, Scott, Bradley and great grand_son Kaleb "Muscles." Dear son of Sarah and Peter BELL both predeceased. Dear brother of Daisy, Roger, Terry and predeceased by Ervin. Sadly missed by his faithful canine companion Trooper. Born in Burpee, he worked as a miner at the INCO Stobie and Frood Mines for 37 years. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing and gardening. He had a wonderful attitude and sense of humor, he brought sunshine into our world. A special thank you to the staff and residence at Extendicare York for their care and compassion. A service of remembrance will be held at Mills Township Cemetery, Manitoulin Island, Thursday, June 12, 2003. (Time to be confirmed) Cremation at the Park Lawn Crematorium. Arrangement entrusted to the Lougheed Funeral Home.

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WITTY o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-07-02 published
Florence Adeline WITTY
In loving memory of Florence Adeline WITTY, April 20, 1923 to June 25, 2003.
Adeline WITTY, a resident of the Manitoulin Lodge, died at the Mindemoya Hospital on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 at the age of 80 years.
She was born in Salter Township, daughter of the late August and Florence {HOULE} BURMASTER. Adeline had a strong sense of community, always willing to help when needed. She was a member of the Mills Women's Institute and enjoyed knitting, sewing, quilting and will be remembered also for being a great cook.
Adeline was predeceased by her beloved husband Grant, June 1, 2002. Loved and loving mother of Ches and his wife Donna of Hanmer, Cliff and his wife Lorie of Thessalon, Bruce and his wife Linda of Gore Bay and Peter of Toronto. Proud grandmother of Kevin, Craig, Derek, Teresa, Trevor, Tom, Jim, Stephanie, Emily and Joshua and great grandchildren Katherine and Kaleb. Dear sister of Alfred, Alvin, Geraldine and Brenda. Predeceased by brothers Orville and Aubrey. Friends called at the Culgin Funeral Home on Thursday, June 26, 2003. The funeral service was held in the Wm. G. Turner Chapel of the Culgin Funeral Home on Friday, June 27, 2003 at 2: 00 p.m. with Rev. Frank HANER officiating. Interment in Gordon Cemetery.

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WITWICKI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-07 published
McCREA, Carol Jean
Jean ended her battle with cancer peacefully, on Wednesday, March 5, 2003, while at home in Toronto with her family. She was the daughter of Donna (WITWICKI) and the late Pete CLENDENNING. She is survived by her beloved husband Frank, children Kent and Allison, mother Donna, and brothers Gary and Gordon. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario (B.A.) and University of Toronto (B.Ed.), Jean dedicated 30 years of her life to the path of education, teaching both the children and adults of Ontario. As a passionate person, she had a love for travel, most things purple, and adventure, but always first in her heart was a desire to be with her Friends and family. As she was always looking forward and never looking back, we bid her now a loving farewell, hold safe the best memories in our heart and pray. The family will receive Friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home - A. W. Miles Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East), from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on on Sunday, March 9th. A service will be held at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 230 St. Clair Avenue West, on Monday, March 10th at 11 o'clock. Private interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. If desired, the family would appreciate donations be sent to the White Light Hospice, 4 Wellesley Place, Toronto M4Y 2K4, or made on line at www.mccrea.ca The hospice is a place where Jean volunteered her time and found the opportunity to draw on her experience to bring comfort to others.

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