# A monstrous talent

## 5 pm, 12 Feb 2024

In the inaugural Simon Norton Lecture, Prof. Peter Cameron celebrates the mathematician's achievements and talks about Norton algebras.

Simon Norton, who died in February 2019, is best remembered by mathematicians for his remarkable contributions to group theory. A child prodigy, Norton earned a First in mathematics from the University of London while he was still studying at Eton College.

Later, at the University of Cambridge, he would work with John Conway, co-authoring the ATLAS of Finite Groups, which is the definitive catalogue of different types of symmetry. The pair’s paper on monstrous moonshine, which was published in 1979, proposed an unexpected deep connection between the monster group and the *j*-function. Seemingly far-fetched, the conjecture was proved in 1992 by Richard Borcherds and is recognised as one of the great unifying conjectures in modern mathematics.

In the inaugural Simon Norton Lecture, which marks the fifth anniversary of his death, Prof. Peter Cameron will celebrate some of Norton's achievements, as well as discuss the properties of “Norton algebras” which Robert Griess used to prove the existence of the monster group in 1980. We are grateful to Simon’s family for their generous support of this lecture.

## Event info

The event takes place on Monday 12 February at the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences, which is on the second floor of the Royal Institution. To book a place, email smc@lims.ac.uk.

## Programme

*17:30*Arrival and drinks, Old Post Room*18:00*Prof. Yang-Hui He, Introduction, Tyndall seminar room*18:10*Prof. Peter Cameron, “Simon Norton, Norton algebras, and spherical 3-designs”*19:10*Drinks and canapes, Old Post room

## Speakers

Prof. Peter Cameron is half-time Professor of Mathematics at the University of St Andrews and Emeritus Professor at Queen Mary University of London. His work—on group theory, combinatorics, coding theory and model theory—has earned him the Whitehead Prize and the Euler Medal.