Person: Widder, David
David Widder was an American mathematician who worked on integral transforms and partial differential equations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- David Henry Widder, born in Montsera, Pennsylvania, was a railway mail clerk who died of myocarditis in Harrisburg.
- We note at this point that Freda B Widder graduated from the Central High School, Harrisburg, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
- In this school he sat beside a student called Rusty who said that Harvard was the best university so Widder applied to Harvard, took the entrance examination, and was accepted to begin his studies in September 1916.
- Back at Harvard, Widder took courses on complex variable from William Caspar Graustein (1888-1941) who, like Widder, had been at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
- Edward B Van Vleck from the University of Wisconsin was visiting Harvard for a term and also taught Widder who graduated in 1920.
- After his year abroad, Widder returned to Harvard for the beginning of the 1921-22 academic year.
- Widder was awarded his Ph.D. in 1924 for his thesis Theorems of mean value and trigonometric interpolation.
- After the award of his Ph.D., Widder was appointed to Bryn Mawr College where the head of mathematics was Anna Pell.
- At this time Widder was appointed so succeed her as head of mathematics.
- In 1930 Widder moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he was given a joint appointment to Radcliffe College and Harvard University.
- Ada Comstock negotiated a new relationship between Radcliffe College and Harvard University in the 1940s and eventually Widder became a full professor at Harvard.
- Widder, in collaboration with Arthur Coble and Joseph Miller Thomas, became a founding managing editor of the Duke Mathematical Journal in 1935.
- Widder's book The Laplace Transform was published in 1941.
- Let us note at this point that David C Widder studied Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University and Edith Widder studied biology at Tufts University.
- Widder attended many conferences, helped to organise some and made research visits.
- In addition to The Laplace transform (1941) which we mentioned above, Widder wrote several other important books.
Born 25 March 1898, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Died 8 July 1990, Arlington, Massachusetts, 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