Baker
# Henry Frederick Baker

### Born: 3 July 1866
in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England

Died: 17 March 1956
in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England

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**Henry Baker** was educated at Cambridge and became a Fellow of St John's in 1888, the year after his graduation. From 1890 to 1895 he was a College Lecturer and influenced by Cayley, then a University Lecturer until 1914. From 1903 to 1914 he also held the Cayley Lecturship.
Baker was inspired by Klein while in Göttingen to study algebraic function theory. He wrote Abel's Theorem and the Allied Theory including Theta Functions in 1897 and Multiply Periodic Functions in 1907. He came in contact with the Italian School of geometry and made their work the subject of his 1911 London Mathematical Society presidential address. From 1911 he studied birational geometry publishing a 6 volume work Principles of Geometry from 1922 to 1925.

Elected to the Royal Society in 1898, Baker won the Society's Sylvester Medal in 1910. Baker held the Lowndean chair of Astronomy and Geometry from 1914 until he retired in 1936. He justified the 'astronomy' title in his chair by lecturing on periodic orbits and other astronomical topics.

Baker inspired a younger generation of geometers. He founded the Saturday afternoon seminar or 'tea party' which became the focus of activity in geometry.

**References (2 books/articles)**

**References elsewhere in this archive:**

Henry F Baker was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1898. You can see a history of the Royal Society and a list of the members among the mathematicians in our archive.

He was awarded the Sylvester Medal of the Royal Society in 1910. You can see a history of the Sylvester Medal and a list of the winners.

H F Baker was the London Mathematical Society President in 1910 - 1912. You can see a history of the LMS and a list of the presidents.

He was the winner of the London Mathematical Society De Morgan Medal in 1905. You can see a history of the LMS De Morgan Medal and a list of the winners.

Henry F Baker was elected an honorary member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in 1926. You can see a history of the EMS and a list of the honorary fellows.

JOC/EFR December 1996