Sir Michael was elected an Honorary Fellow of the RSE in 1985 and went on to become its President from 2005 until 2008, a position he also held at the Royal Society from 1990 until 1995. He was awarded the Order of Merit (OM), a special honour in the sole gift of the Sovereign which is restricted to a maximum of 24 living recipients in 1992; and the RSE Royal Medal in 2003. He was also a recipient of the Fields Medal and the Abel Prize, both of which are awarded to outstanding mathematicians.
Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the RSE said,
“It was with great sadness that we have learned of Sir Michael’s death. He was not only one of our greatest mathematicians whose talents were justly rewarded with many honours and awards, but a dedicated and inspirational President of the RSE. Hugely respected by all, his tireless campaigning and success in having a statue erected in the centre of Edinburgh to honour physicist James Clerk Maxwell, is a fitting legacy to his Presidency”.