Person: Morse, Harold Calvin Marston
Morse developed variational theory in the large with applications to equilibrium problems in mathematical physics, a theory which is now called Morse theory and forms a vital role in global analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Marston attended Coburn Classical Institute until he was eighteen years old, at which time he entered Colby College in Waterville.
- Morse received his B.A. from Colby College in 1914, gaining distinction, and from there he entered Harvard to undertake research in mathematics.
- Morse taught briefly at Harvard before entering military service for the period of World War I.
- Osgood was 28 years older than Morse, and he was 68 years old at the time of the marriage.
- These events came as a great shock to Morse, and the scandal led to Osgood retiring.
- Morse developed variational theory in the large with applications to equilibrium problems in mathematical physics.
- This is now called Morse theory and it grew out of a major discovery which Morse made not long after returning to mathematics after the war and published in his important paper Relations between the critical points of a real function of nnn independent variables in 1925.
- Morse theory is important in the field of global analysis which is the study of ordinary and partial differential equations from a global or topological point of view.
- Morse's major works include Calculus of variations in the large (1934), Functional topology and abstract variational theory (1938), Topological methods in the theory of functions of a complex variable (1947) and Lectures on analysis in the large (1947).
- What distinguishes Morse from many other famous mathematicians is his single-minded persistence with a single theme throughout his life.
- However this theme, Morse theory, is perhaps the single greatest contribution of American mathematics.
- It is slightly surprising that the topics which most captivated Morse do not show up as such in this list, although in many ways they were still the motivation behind much of his work.
- Morse received many awards for his work.
Born 24 March 1892, Waterville, Maine, USA. Died 22 June 1977, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
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Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Usa, Topology
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive