Person: Rogosinski, Werner Wolfgang
Werner Rogosinski was a Polish pure mathematician who moved to Britain before World War II. He worked on series and co-authored a book with G H Hardy.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- His parents were Hermann Rogosinski, a counsellor in Breslau, and Helma Braun.
- Werner was born in Breslau, at that time a German town, although his parents were from Jewish Polish families.
- Rogosinski graduated from the Gymnasium in 1913 and entered Breslau University to study mathematics.
- Rogosinski's studies were interrupted by the war and he undertook military service as a corporal in the medical corps.
- At this time Göttingen University was probably the best place in the world to study mathematics and Rogosinski flourished, undertaking research directed by Edmund Landau.
- At this stage Landau was interested in number theory, in particular Dirichlet series that he had studied for his own doctorate, and it was in this area that Rogosinski worked for his thesis.
- The particular problem Rogosinski studied involved the Dirichlet divisor problem, particularly studying a series expansion given by Georgy Voronoy.
- This work appeared in Rogosinski's doctoral dissertation Neue Anwendung der Pfeifferschen Methode bei Dirichlets Teilerproblem Ⓣ(New applications of Pfeiffer's method to the Dirichlet divisor problem) which he submitted to Göttingen University in 1921 and was awarded the degree on 25 January 1922.
- He was held in awe by the many bright young students he supervised, but Rogosinski seems to have had a rather different relationship with him.
- When Rogosinski arrived at the University of Königsberg, the Mathematics Department was small but had an excellent ordinary professor in Konrad Knopp.
- In 1925 Richard Brauer arrived but the arrival of Gábor Szegő in 1926 was particularly important to Rogosinski since the two quickly became both firm friends and mathematical collaborators.
- Werner and Erna wanted to marry but had to wait until he was earning a salary, rather than living in relative poverty which was the position of a Privatdocent.
- The next five years were excellent ones for the Rogosinskis.
- This book on Fourier series was based on lectures that Rogosinski gave on the topic at the University of Königsberg.
- Before we look at these events, however, we note the hospitality that the Rogosinskis' home in Königsberg offered to their wide range of friends.
- Rogosinski carried on despite his position becoming more and more difficult until, in 1936, he was dismissed from his professorship.
- However, collaboration between these fine mathematicians provided Rogosinski with a period of exceptional productivity and enjoyment.
- In 1941 the University of Aberdeen, having a number of staff on war service, appointed Rogosinski as an assistant lecturer in mathematics.
- The pay was poor and the position was far too junior for a fine mathematician like Rogosinski at the peak of his abilities but it provided him with a stepping stone which must have made him feel that he was fortunate.
- In 1944 Rogosinski's collaboration with Hardy led to the publication of their book Fourier Series.
- This was, in many ways, the book that Rogosinski had planned as a rewrite of Fouriersche Reihen Ⓣ(Fourier series) but based on the Lebesgue integral.
- the appearance of a Cambridge tract by Hardy and Rogosinski is to be welcomed.
- Rogosinski lectured to the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in the summer of 1945 and, a consequence of this lecture became the book Volume and integral (1952) published in the Oliver and Boyd Series of University Mathematical Texts.
- In 1945 Rogosinski moved to Newcastle when he was appointed as a lecturer at King's College, University of Durham (King's College did not become the University of Newcastle until 1963).
- Werner was himself a most stimulating lecturer, convinced of the tremendous importance of mathematics and taking a great delight in every new result that was proved.
- In November 1953, J E Littlewood proposed Rogosinski for admission into the Royal Society of London.
- Rogosinski was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 18 March 1954.
Born 24 September 1894, Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland). Died 23 July 1964, Aarhus, Denmark.
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