Year of Award: 1985
Award: Lester R. Ford
Publication Information: The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 91, 1984, pp. 333-352
Summary: This article surveys contemporary problems and recent progress in the factorization of integers and primality testing, including many involving ideas accessible to undergraduate students.
About the Author: (from The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 91 (1984)) John D. Dixon completed his bachelor’s degree (1959) in number theory at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He received his Ph.D. (1961) in group theory under the supervision of Hans Schwerdtfeger from McGill University. Since then he has taught at California Institute of Technology, University of New South Wales, and Carleton University. He is the author of three books: Problems in Group Theory (1967), The Structure of Linear Groups (1971), and Modular Representations of Finite Groups (with B.M. Puttaswamaiah, 1976). During the past 15 years he has had an increasing interest in algorithmic problems in algebra and number theory. His mathematical heroes are the generalists such as Gauss and Hilbert.