Person: Szegő, Gábor
Gábor Szegő worked in the area of extremal problems and Toeplitz matrices.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- During the summers of 1913 and 1914 Szegő went to Berlin where he studied under, among others, Georg Frobenius, Hermann Schwarz, Konrad Knopp and Friedrich Schottky.
- Interaction with George Pólya led to Szegő publishing the paper Ein Grenzwertsatz über die Toeplitzschen Determinanten einer reellen positiven Funktion Ⓣ(A limit theorem on Toeplitz determinants of a real positive function) in Mathematische Annalen in 1915.
- One of the first things that Szegő did when arriving back in Budapest was to marry Erzsébet Anna Neményi, who had just been awarded a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Budapest.
- The marriage took place on 22 May 1919 with Szegő still dressed in military uniform.
- The Lutheran Gymnasium approached József Kürschák who in turn asked Szegő, who worked as his assistant during 1919-1920, to tutor the young von Neumann.
- Szegő went to von Neumann's home once or twice a week and, over tea, discussed set theory, measure theory and other topics.
- Working towards habilitating at the University of Berlin, Szegő became a friend of Issai Schur and worked with Richard von Mises, Leon Lichtenstein and Erhard Schmidt.
- During his eight years of scientific activity Gábor Szegő has produced numerous works.
- The book 'Aufgaben und Lehrsätze aus der Analysis', the result of our cooperation, is my best work and also the best work of Gábor Szegő.
- In 1926 Szegő moved to Königsberg to succeed Konrad Knopp as professor; Knopp had moved to Tübingen University.
- The events of 1933 were devastating for Jewish academics like Szegő.
- Szegő qualified for this exemption but things quickly became increasingly difficult.
- There is no hope to get something for him in Hungary, says Fejér and also Szegő himself ...
- Szegő visited Harald Bohr in Copenhagen in May 1934 and took the opportunity to write himself to Tamarkin without fear that it would be read by Nazis censors which it would have been if he had written from Germany.
- However, Harald Bohr understood more about the danger that the Szegős were in and he also wrote to Tamarkin who found a post for Szegő at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.
- Both Pólya and Harald Bohr strongly advised Szegő to accept and he arrived in the United States to take up the position in the autumn of 1934.
- Szegő used his powers to turn the provincial mathematics department that Stanford had been under Hans Frederick Blichfeldt and James Victor Uspensky - both remarkable mathematicians - into one of the leading departments of the country that Stanford is today.
- As a young man, Szegő was very shy; by the time he came to the United States, he was a self-assured man with old world courtly manners.
- it would be impossible today, as Szegő did in the summer of 1946, to invite all graduate students to his home for a supper of stuffed cabbage and plum dumplings, cooked expertly by his wife.
- Szegő worked mainly in function theory (of one complex variable), classical orthogonal polynomials, isoperimetric inequalities, and Toeplitz form.
- This work led him to introduce the notion of the Szegő reproducing kernel.
- From these beginnings he moved to prove a number of limit theorems, now known as the Szegő limit theorem, the strong Szegő limit theorem and Szegő's orthogonal polynomials and on the unit circle.
- In addition to the books he wrote with Pólya, described above, Szegő wrote research monographs on his own work.
- In a collaboration with Ulf Grenander, Szegő wrote Toeplitz forms and their applications which was published in 1958.
- Szegő retired in 1960 and was made Professor Emeritus by Stanford.
- Szegő was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1970.
- We have already given some quotes which tell us about Szegő's character.
- In these papers by Rosenbloom says that, in addition to his mathematical needs, Szegő also was concerned for his cultural education, giving him a ticket to a concert given by Bela Bartók at Stanford in the early 1940s.
- Szegő received a number of honours in addition to the 1924 Gyula König Prize mentioned above.
- In 2010 the Gábor Szegő prize was established to be awarded to an early-career researcher for outstanding research contributions in the area of orthogonal polynomials and special functions.
Born 20 January 1895, Kunhegyes, Hungary. Died 7 August 1985, Palo Alto, California USA.
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