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Biographies: My Early Days in Toronto Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129808D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 15 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

B. A. Griffith: AUTHOR [+2]


1643 Lincolnshire Blvd. Mississauga, Ontario L5E 2S9 Canada

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Copyright ©; 1994 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Biographies: My Early Days in Toronto

B. A. Griffith

1643 Lincolnshire Blvd. Mississauga, Ontario L5E 2S9 Canada

Editor's note: In keeping with our Canadian theme, we include this memoir by B.A. Griffith.

I was born on November 16,1908, in Hamilton, Ontario. I was only three years old when, for the betterment of my father's health, my parents sold their home in Hamilton and bought a small farm in the Niagara Peninsula, near the tiny village of Fruitland, some 10 miles east of Hamilton.

That was a poor farm: The land had not been cultivated for many years and was covered with weeds and thorn bushes. There was only a small, unpainted, frame house without a basement and a low shed for livestock -- no barn. For my parents, life on this farm was, for the first several years, very much like that of early pioneer days. For me the simple life was a blessing in strange disguise for throughout my school days, from late 1915 until June 1926, there was little to take my attention away from school work.

In June 1920, at the age of 11, I passed the examinations for entrance into high school. My parents felt that I was too young for high school so I was given a long holiday from school. In September 1921 I started high school in Grimsby a few miles away. After two years I transferred to the collegiates in Hamilton -- one year (1923-1924) at the Central Collegiate, followed by two years at the newly completed Delta Collegiate. In my final year at Delta I applied for several Ontario scholarships and wrote 15 upper school papers, including the special problems paper for scholarship candidates in mathematics. In those papers I did not do as well as I had hoped, but I did manage to rank for three or four of the lesser Ontario scholarships. I accepted an Ontario scholarship that carried with it free tuition for four years at the University of Toronto. This award, together with two scholarships, the first Sir John Gibson Scholarship and the first Carter Scholarship for Wentworth County, gave me sufficient funds for my first year at the University of Toronto.

In September 1926 I enrolled in physics and chemistry (P&C), an honors course in which the first year's curriculum was identical with that for the first year in mathematics and physics (M&P). In 1926 only two students enrolled in P&C -- Tuzo Wilson and myself. Neither of us stayed in P&C -- Tuzo transferred to physics and geology, and I transferred to M&P. I enjoyed my four years as an undergraduate and on graduation in May 1930 was awarded a fellowship in mathematics that would cover tuition and expenses during my first year as a graduate student. In that year, I had to give a lecture course in elementary calculus to first-year medical students, act as part-time assistant to Professor J.L. Synge (pronounced "Sin...