Person: Feit, Walter
Walter Feit was an Austrian mathematician who (with John Thompson) proved one of the most important theorems about finite simple groups.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Walter's parents had put him on that last train which left Vienna on one of the last days in August 1939.
- Eventually Pauline's efforts paid off and Feit was able to sail to the United States in December 1946.
- Feit attended Brauer's seminar which was on the modular representations of finite groups and also took an informal reading course from Brauer on class field theory.
- Feit remained at the University of Michigan and Brauer continued to supervise his doctoral thesis.
- However, formally Feit had to have a supervisor on the Michigan faculty, so Robert Thrall took on that role.
- Feit graduated with a doctorate in 1955, awarded for the thesis Topics in the Theory of Group Characters.
- Feit was drafted into the army in 1955, and after he returned to Cornell he began to date Sidnie.
- John Thompson proved significant results in his thesis presented to the University of Chicago in 1959, and character theoretic results proved by Feit were seen to be relevant.
- This brought together many leading group theorists, and in particular it provided the opportunity for Feit and Thompson to embark on the ambitious project of attempting to prove the conjecture that all groups of odd order are soluble.
- Suzuki and, of course, Brauer appreciated Walter's strength.
- Walter then discovered that there was one case that our techniques did not cover, and he told me of this.
- We have said nothing of Feit's achievements so far, other than the odd order paper.
- Let us record that Feit addressed the British Mathematical Colloquium as a plenary speaker in Swansea in 1967.
- In mid-1976, Walter went to China with a delegation headed by Saunders Mac Lane.
- Feit died after a long illness at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Connecticut, USA.
- who ever discussed world affairs with Walter knows what a history buff he was.
Born 26 October 1930, Vienna, Austria. Died 29 July 2004, Branford, Connecticut, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Algebra, Group Theory, Origin Austria, Puzzles And Problems
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive