Person: Kerékjártó, Béla
Béla Kerékjártó was a Hungarian mathematician who worked in topology.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- everyone knew that Kerékjártó's 'Vorlesungen über Topologie' was not a good book and, therefore, nobody read it.
- The present author has held this opinion for many years and now feels obliged to make a closer examination of Kerékjártó's works.
- The greater part of Kerékjártó's own contributions are hardly intelligible and most apparently wrong.
- The work of others is often taken over almost literally or in a way which proves that Kerékjártó had not really assimilated the material.
- First, Hermann Weyl wrote that Kerékjártó's book completely changed his views on topology.
- In 1925, Kerékjártó was appointed to full professorship of the Chair of Geometry and Descriptive Geometry at the University of Szeged.
- Before Kerékjártó's appointment, there were four members of staff in mathematics: Frigyes Riesz, Alfréd Haar, Rudolf Ortvay, who held the Chair of Mathematical Physics, and Tibor Radó, Haar's assistant and the only assistant in the Department.
- Examples of paper Kerékjártó published during this time are On a geometrical theory of continuous groups (1925) and On a geometrical theory of continuous groups.
- Kerékjártó remained in Szeged until 1938 and we have this nice description from Wilfred Kaplan who spent the academic year 1936-37 abroad.
- In 1938, Kerékjártó was appointed full professor at the University of Budapest.
- Kerékjártó spent the rest of his career in Budapest which was sadly much shorter than it might have been since he died in 1946 at the age of 47.
- After the problem of classifying surfaces up to homeomorphism had been solved (and that for open surfaces resolved by Kerékjártó) it became possible to study more deeply the structure of the transformations of such surfaces.
- At the beginning of Kerékjártó's research there were two classic results in this area.
- Kerékjártó had earlier shown, in his book, the close relationship between these two theorems, and in an article in Acta Universitatis szegediansis, Acta scientiarum mathematicarum in 1928, he showed how they could have a common proof.
- The most beautiful results of this theory, in the case of dimension 2, are due to Kerékjártó.
- Kerékjártó was honoured by being elected a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1934 and a full member of the Academy in 1945.
Born 1 October 1898, Budapest, Hungary. Died 26 June 1946, Gyöngyos, Hungary.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Hungary, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive