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The Story of the 120-Cell
Award: Chauvenet Prize
Year of Award: 2005
Publication Information: Notices of the AMS, January 2001, pp. 17-24.
Summary: A history of the 120-cell regular polytope using contemporary language and illustrated with the help of computer graphics.
About the Author: John Stillwell was born in 1942 and raised in Australia, where he was educated at Melbourne High School and the University of Melbourne. In 1965 he first came to the US, to attend graduate school at MIT (Ph.D. 1970). Then he returned to Melbourne, where he taught at Monash University for 31 years. In 2002 he started a new job as professor at the University of San Francisco. He now spends one semester per year there, and the rest of the time in Melbourne. His interests are in geometry, algebra, number theory, and their history. He has translated several of the classics in these fields -- by Poincaré, Dedekind, and Dirichlet for example -- and has written several books, the best-known of which is Mathematics and Its History (2nd edition, Springer, 2002).