Saturday 18 February 1995
His early research was in the application of mathematical ideas to traditional areas of physical science; however, he soon realised that the delicate balance between theory and practice in these disciplines was capable of far-reaching generalisation, as science - and especially industry - turned increasingly to the computer with its inherent demand for mathematical modelling. This vision enabled him to make a significant contribution to British mathematics in 1967 by initiating the so-called "Study Groups with Industry" which continue all over the world to this day.
Alan Tayler was a scholar at King's College School, Wimbledon, and during National Service he joined REME and was involved in developments in radar and electronics in immediate post-war Britain. He then went up to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he took a double First in Mathematics and was awarded a DPhil in mathematical aspects of aerodynamics under the supervision of Professor George Temple.
In 1959, Tayler was appointed to a tutorial fellowship at the St Catherine's Society, and he was a member of the small group of tutors around Alan (now Lord) Bullock who were involved in the transformation of the society in 1962 into the fully fledged St Catherine's College. The society moved to a striking building designed by the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, the setting for a college in which Tayler and his colleagues sought to introduce traditional Oxford educational values into a new environment, placing a particular emphasis on mathematics and science.
Tayler's commitment to St Catherine's College was total. He held the main college offices and in the late 1980s conceived the idea of founding the St Catherine's College Kobe Institute, an Anglo-Japanese foundation for fostering academic exchanges between Britain and Japan. In the final week of his life he took a keen interest in the situation of the institute following the devastating earthquake in Kobe.
In 1982 Tayler was awarded the Gold Medal of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. In 1984 he helped to form the European Consortium for Mathematics and Industry and in 1989 he became its President. He was appointed CBE in 1993 for his services to applied science and industry.
Alan Tayler's great love outside his mathematical work was rugby and for 30 years he played a vital role in the Oxford University Rugby Club, becoming its President. He was very pleased to be able to attend the Varsity Match before Christmas.
Plant of Highfield
Alan Breach Tayler, mathematician: born Mitcham, Surrey 5 September 1931; Fellow, St Catherine's College, Oxford 1959-95; Director, Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics 1989-94; CBE 1993; married 1955 June Earp (three daughters, and one daughter deceased); died Ducklington, Oxfordshire 29 January 1995.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
Nepal earthquake video: Terrifying footage shows moment avalanche hit Everest Base Camp
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...