Professor Rob Curtis

Professor of Combinatorial Algebra

Pure Mathematics Group
School of Mathematics
Watson Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 6595
Fax: +44 (0) 121 414 3389
Email: R.T.Curtis (at)


MA, PhD (Pure Mathematics, Cantab 1972)


Editor of International Journal of Group Theory


He was a member-at-large of the London Mathematical Society from 2001 to 2007 and served on various committees, including the Programmes Committee for several years. He was LMS Librarian from 2003 to 2007 during which time he was Chairman of the Editorial Board which oversaw the publication of:

The Book of Presidents 1865 - 1965 by Susan Oakes, Alan Pears and Adrian Rice (2005) London Mathematical Society.

During his term in office the LMS agreed to house the Philippa Fawcett Library of Women Mathematicians.

Chairman of the 55th British Mathematical Colloquium, Birmingham 2003.

Research interests 

Algebra and combinatorics; in particular, finite groups and the combinatorial/geometric objects on which they act. Symmetric generation of groups. 

Publications (selected)

Symmetric generation of groups, with applications to many of the sporadic finite simple groups. (2007) Cambridge University Press.

RT Curtis. 1996. Monomial modular representations and construction of the Held group, Journal of Algebra, 184, 1205-1227

RT Curtis. 1999. Symmetric generation and existence of the Janko group J_1, Journal of Group Theory, 2 355-366

RT Curtis & JN Bray. 2004. Double coset enumeration of symmetrically generated groups, Journal of Group Theory, 7 167-185

RT Curtis, JN Bray, CW Parker & C Wiedorn. 2003. Symmetric presentations for the Fischer groups I: the classical groups Sp_6(2), Sp_8(2) and 3.O_7(3), Journal of Algebra, 265, 171-199