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Fellows Directory

John Kingman

John Kingman

Credit: Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge

Sir John Kingman FRS


Elected: 1971


John Kingman is a mathematician who has conducted important work in the field of stochastic analysis — the study of systems that evolve in a probabilistic fashion. A prominent statistician, he has also applied his expertise further afield to lay the foundations of what is now known as the coalescent theory of population genetics.

Amongst his many significant contributions to the field of probability theory, perhaps the work with the most lasting impact has been his study of regenerative phenomena — processes with identical starting points that have statistically independent outcomes. John is also known for his work on queuing theory, a highly analytical branch of mathematics with wide-ranging applications in the handling and management of data.

A former President of the Royal Statistical Society, John set up the Statistics Commission in 2000 to monitor official statistics in the United Kingdom, and served as its Chairman until 2003. He received his knighthood in 1985 for his work with the Science and Engineering Research Council, which he chaired from 1981.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Population genetics
  • Mathematics
    • Pure mathematics


Random processes, Markov processes, Queues, Subadditive ergodic theorem, Population genetics, Coalescent


  • Royal Medals

    In recognition of his distinguished researches on queuing theory, on regenerative phenomena, and on mathematical genetics.

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