Person: Boersma, Johannes
Johannes Boersma was a Dutch mathematician who specialised in mathematical analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- This school had a curriculum designed to take a pupil to university entrance level by the age of 18, but Boersma was no typical pupil and he had completed the whole syllabus by the age of 15.
- One of the biggest influences on Boersma was a mathematician who was not at the University of Groningen, but rather worked at the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven.
- In 1956 Boersma spent a few months working at the Philips Research Laboratories to gain industrial experience.
- Christoffel J Bouwkamp was a mathematician, an expert on diffraction theory, who was working at the Laboratories and he became Boersma's advisor.
- Although he could not be Boersma doctoral supervisor, since he did not have a university position, still he was a large influence on Boersma's research while his official thesis supervisor at Groningen was Adriaan van de Vooren, an expert in fluid mechanics.
- One of Boersma's interests from an early stage in his university career was the G-function of Cornelis Simon Meijer (1904-1974).
- Meijer had received a doctorate from Groningen in 1933 for his thesis Asymptotische Entwicklungen Besselscher, Hankelscher und verwandter Funktionen Ⓣ(Asymptotic developments of Bessel, Hankel and related functions) written with Johannes van der Corput as his advisor and, two years later, introduced the GGG-function as a generalisation of special functions.
- He lectured to Boersma at Groningen and inspired him to work on the GGG-function.
- In 1956 Boersma wrote an essay On a function, which is a special case of Meijer's G-function which won a prize from the University of Groningen and began an interest in the G-function which was to last throughout his life.
- After the award of his doctorate Boersma went in 1965 to the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in New York.
- He recommended Boersma for a professorship there and in 1967 he was appointed a full professor.
- Finally, we should mention that Boersma was interested in music and played the organ.
Born 5 December 1937, Marrum, The Netherlands. Died 29 November 2004, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
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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