The College community are greatly saddened that John Coates — Life Fellow & Emeritus Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics — passed away peacefully this morning at 0100, surrounded by his family. He was elected a Fellow of Emmanuel in 1975, working with Andrew Wiles, proving a partial case of the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture for elliptic curves with complex multiplication. His research interests included number theory, arithmetical algebraic geometry and Iwasawa theory.
Professor Coates studied as an undergraduate at the Australian National University, and did postgraduate study at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He took his PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge, researching p-adic analogues of Baker's theorem. Subsquently, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Harvard, followed by appointment to Associate Professor at Stanford. Following a Lectureship at Emmanuel from 1975, he became a Professor at the Australian National University in 1977. This position was followed by a Professorship at the University of Paris XI at Orsay, and Professor & Director of Mathematics at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
He returned to Cambridge in 1986, and was part of the DPMMS (Department of Pure Mathematics & Mathematical Statistics) at the University. In 1985, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and between 1988 & 1990, was President of the London Mathematical Society. He was awarded the LMS Senior Whitehead Prize in 1997.