Person: Veblen, Oswald
Veblen made important contributions to projective and differential geometry, and topology.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Veblen attended school in Iowa City before entering the University of Iowa in 1894, receiving his A.B. in 1898.
- After a year spent as a laboratory assistant at the University of Iowa, Veblen spent a year at Harvard University where he was awarded a second B.A. in 1900, before going to the University of Chicago to undertake research.
- Veblen first impressed Moore when he attended his seminar in 1901.
- queries and remarks of members of this course, in particular Mr O Veblen, have been a source of much stimulus.
- Veblen's doctoral dissertation, supervised by Moore, was entitled A System of Axioms for Geometry and he was awarded his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1903.
- In it Veblen gave an axiom system based on point and order rather than on the traditional notions of point, line and plane.
- During this period Veblen worked on putting his own thesis into a form for publication and A system of axioms for geometry appeared as a 41 page paper in the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society in 1904.
- Leaving Chicago, Veblen taught mathematics at Princeton University from 1905 to 1932.
- Two years after his marriage, in 1910, Veblen was promoted to professor of mathematics at Princeton.
- Veblen headed the Division of Experimental Ballistics which was the mathematical research facility at the Proving Ground.
- Veblen was honoured by Princeton in 1926 when they named him Henry B Fine Professor of Mathematics.
- In 1929 funds were provided for Fine Hall at Princeton and Veblen provided most of the ideas that went into its design.
- Veblen was a grand man, and the people for whom he made it possible to come to the United States made a great contribution to mathematics.
- Veblen's interest in the foundations of geometry led to his work on the axiom systems of projective geometry.
- The first of the two volumes in this book were jointly written by the two authors but the second volume was due the Veblen alone.
- We mentioned above that Veblen's first work on topology appeared just before he arrived in Princeton.
- Soon after Einstein's theory of general relativity appeared Veblen turned his attention to differential geometry.
- Veblen was an active member of the American Mathematical Society, serving the Society as vice-president in 1915 and president in 1923-24.
- Veblen was elected to the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences (United States) and was honoured with memberships of many other societies around the world.
- Veblen loved the outdoors and it was his initiative which led to Princeton purchasing a woodland site for the Institute for Advanced Study so that members could go for countryside walks.
- In his last years Veblen became partially blind and he devised a number of aids for blind people, one of which was manufactured and distributed by the American Foundation for the Blind.
Born 24 June 1880, Decorah, Iowa, USA. Died 10 August 1960, Brooklyn, Maine, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Usa, Puzzles And Problems, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive