Helen Popova Alderson

Helen Alderson was born on 14th May 1924 in Baku, Russia, where her family was seconded for a time. The family was based in Moscow, where her father (Nicolai Popov) was a neurophysiologist who worked with Pavlov and was his research student, and where her mother was also an academic. Helen attended Moscow University at the age of 13 in 1937, to study mathematics. When war broke out, her family became refugees and eventually went to Paris where her parents remained. Helen was able to speak five languages - Russian, Polish, Czech, French and English, as well as conversational German.

She attended Edinburgh University from 1947 to 1951, graduating with a PhD in 1951. Edinburgh is where she met her husband, biochemist Thomas Alderson. After her PhD she worked at Aberdeen University for several years. She came to Cambridge in 1960 and had several years away from work, looking after her son Tom and daughter Tania. She went back to work in the late 1960's at the Cambridge Pure Mathematics Department with a Calouste Gulbenkian Fellowship at Lucy Cavendish College, working with Professor Cassels.

Helen Alderson died suddenly on 5th November 1972 of heart failure, brought on by high blood pressure due to kidney failure.


  1. Alderson, Helen Popova, Finite quasigroups with two or more homomorphisms, J. Algebra 31 (1974) 460-479.
  2. Alderson, Helen Popova, The structure of the logarithmetics of finite plain quasigroups, J. Algebra 31 (1974) 1-9.
  3. Alderson, Helen Popova, On the septimic character of 2 and 3, Proc. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 74 (1973) 421-433.
  4. Alderson, Helen Popova, On the quintic character of 2, Mathematika 11 (1964) 125-130.
  5. Popova, Helen, Logarithmetics of finite quasigroups, II. Proc. Edinburgh Math. Soc. (2) 9 (1956) 109-115.
  6. Popova, Helen, Logarithmetics of finite quasigroups, I. Proc. Edinburgh Math. Soc. (2) 9, (1954) 74-81.
  7. Popova, Hélène, Sur la logarithmétique d'une boucle, (French) C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 236, (1953) 1220-1222.
  8. Popova, Hélène, L'isotopie des logarithmétiques des quasi-groupes finis, (French) C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 236, (1953) 769-771.
  9. Popova, Hélène, Logarithmétiques réductibles de quasi-groupes, (French) C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 235, (1952) 1589-1591.
  10. Popova, Hélène, Sur les vecteurs dérivés des quasigroupes unis, (French) C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 235, (1952) 1360-1362.
  11. Popova, Hélène, Sur les quasi-groupes dont les logarithmétiques sont groupes, (French) C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 234, (1952) 2582-2583.
  12. Popova, Hélène, Logarithmétiques des quasi-groupes finis, (French) C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 234, (1952) 1936-1937.



Prepared by Keith Matthews from material provided by Dr. Tom Alderson.

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