Person: Radó, Tibor
Tibor Radó was a Hungarian mathematician best known for his solution to the Plateau Problem.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- At this stage Radó enlisted as a lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army and was sent to the Russian front.
- Around 600000 men in the Austro-Hungarian army were killed or captured in the 1916 Russian offensive and Radó was one of those taken prisoner by the Russians.
- In the camp near Tobolsk Radó had met a fellow prisoner Eduard Helly.
- After being shot, Helly had been captured by the Russians towards the end of 1915 and after a spell in hospital was by then in the same prison camp Radó.
- However unlike Radó, who had only just begun his university studies, Helly was already a research mathematician who had made remarkable progress in his work on functional analysis, proving the Hahn-Banach theorem in 1912.
- In the prison camp Helly acted as mathematics teacher to Radó who was also able to read books on mathematics.
- None of this had a significant effect on the Russian Revolution but it did mean that Radó remained a prisoner in the midst of bitter conflict.
- Eventually in the confusion that was taking place in Siberia Radó was able to escape from the prison camp but returning to his much reduced country forced him to make a most remarkable journey.
- Escaping from the prison camp near Tobolsk, Radó made his way north to the Arctic regions of Russia.
- After a trek of many thousands of miles Radó reached Hungary in 1920.
- Let us mention in particular the paper from this period, namely Über den Begriff der Riemannschen Fläche Ⓣ(On the concept of Riemann surface) which Radó published in 1925.
- The Rockefeller Foundation awarded Radó a fellowship to enable him to spend 1928 working in Germany; part of the year being spent with Carathéodory in Munich and part with Koebe and Lichtenstein in Leipzig.
- The following year saw Radó visit the United States where he was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University and Rice University.
- In 1930 Radó published the work for which he is most famous, namely his solution to the Plateau Problem.
- Garnier made a major breakthrough in 1928 followed soon after by independent solutions to the general problem by Douglas and by Radó.
- Their approaches were very different, Radó's being via conformal mappings.
- Let us remark that the solution to the Plateau problem by both Douglas and by Radó did not exclude the possibility that the minimal surface contained a singularity.
- Radó spent 1942 as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago.
- It was in 1945, the year that the war ended, that Radó was invited to be the American Mathematical Society Colloquium Lecturer.
- gives a systematic and detailed exposition of most of the contributions to the theory of the Lebesgue area which have been made by C B Morrey, T Radó and Radó's students.
- The end of the war also marked a time when Radó took on the role as chairman of the Department of Mathematics of Ohio State University, a position he held from 1946 to 1948.
- The Mathematical Association of America invited Radó to give the first Earle Raymond Hedrick Lectures at its meeting in the summer of 1952.
- In the last decade of his life, Radó's interests turned to a new area when he found a fascination in the mathematics behind the newly developing ideas in computer science.
Born 2 June 1895, Budapest, Hungary. Died 12 December 1965, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA.
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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