Person: Weaver, Warren
Warren Weaver was an American mathematician famous as one of the pioneers of machine translation.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- It was in Madison that Weaver attended secondary school and also where he entered the University of Wisconsin.
- Weaver initially intended to train to become an engineer, but he was influenced to move towards applied mathematics and mathematical physics by his teachers, in particular Max Mason.
- The other influence on Weaver was Charles Slichter who was professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin and had earlier influenced Mason to change from engineering to mathematics.
- Weaver was awarded a B.S. in 1916 and a C.E. in the following year.
- Weaver was clearly in this latter category.
- However during the years that he was undertaking research for his doctorate Weaver had other jobs: he was assistant professor of mathematics at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, California during 1917-18.
- After completing his war service in the Air Force, Weaver returned to Throop Polytechnic Institute in 1919 where he taught for a year as an assistant professor of mathematics before returning to Wisconsin-Madison to complete his doctoral studies; he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1921.
- After becoming president, Mason approached Weaver to take up the post of director of the Natural Sciences Division.
- Weaver was appointed in 1932 and held the position until 1957.
- As developed by Weaver, the program operated on a worldwide basis and stressed the acquisition of knowledge - that is, it was conscientiously pure science.
- Weaver personally chose the grantees; peer review was not his style.
- Perhaps Weaver is best known for his work as an applied mathematician during World War II.
- Weaver suffered a serious illness shortly after the end of the war.
- Let us mention another aspect of Weaver's work.
- Some ideas are suggested in this paper by Weaver for a broader application of the fundamental principles of communication theory.
- Weaver was also famed for his popular writings on science.
- Having worked for the private support of science for most of his life, Weaver's book U.S. Philanthropic Foundations : Their History, Structure, Management and Record (1967) is written by someone who understood intimately the workings of such institutions.
Born 17 July 1894, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, USA. Died 24 November 1978, Upper Milford, Connecticut, 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