Person: Lanczos, Cornelius
Cornelius Lanczos worked on relativity and mathematical physics and invented what is now called the Fast Fourier Transform.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Lanczos attended a Jewish elementary school where he learn several foreign languages, then he entered the local Gymnasium which was a Catholic school run by the Cistercians.
- There he had several inspiring teachers who were to make a great impression on Lanczos.
- His physics teacher was Eötvös who first interested Lanczos in relativity.
- It is likely that Lanczos was influenced by Fejér's style of lecturing...
- After graduating in 1915, Lanczos was appointed an assistant at the Technical University of Budapest.
- Lanczos received his doctorate in 1921 and, because of laws in Hungary against Jews, he went to Germany taking up a post at the University of Freiburg.
- During the year 1928-29 Lanczos was Einstein's assistant in Berlin, returning to Frankfurt in 1929.
- In 1931 Lanczos spent a year as a visiting professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
- During his time at Purdue, Lanczos published mathematical physics papers at first but in 1938 he published his first work in numerical analysis.
- Lanczos continued to work on his first love of relativity and corresponded with Einstein both on a scientific level and as a friend.
- A new young man was appointed as Head of Physics at Purdue and Lanczos felt his work there was no longer appreciated.
- Lanczos spent the year of 1944 working for the Boeing Aircraft Company and, in 1946, he resigned his post in Purdue to take up a permanent appointment with Boeing.
- Lanczos was therefore delighted to receive an offer from Schrödinger to head the Theoretical Physics Department at the Dublin Institute for Advance Study in Ireland.
- Lanczos published over 120 papers and books in a career spanning over 40 years.
Born 2 February 1893, Székesfehérvár, Hungary. Died 25 June 1974, Budapest, Hungary.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive