Person: Hurewicz, Witold
Witold Hurewicz made important contributions to algebraic topology including discovering higher homotopy groups.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Mieczyslaw was born in Wilno, Poland on 4 April 1872 to Serge Hurewicz and Fannie Eisenstat.
- Although Hurewicz knew by this time that he wanted to specialise in mathematics and fully understood that there was a vigorous school of mathematics in Poland, nevertheless he chose to go to Vienna to continue his studies.
- In this environment Hurewicz turned to set theory.
- Although Borsuk gives a good indication of Hahn's Vienna School in this quote, it is a little confusing since not all those mentioned were teaching there when Hurewicz was a student.
- He was a student at the same time as Hurewicz and was awarded his doctorate in 1927.
- Hurewicz began to work on extending theorems of Menger and Urysohn on dimension, which they had proved for Euclidean spaces, to separable metric spaces.
- Hurewicz became known as one of the creators of dimension theory, next to Menger and Urysohn.
- Hurewicz was then in Holland and came to Warsaw almost once a year.
- At the time Hurewicz was already in America.
- After his years at Princeton, Hurewicz was appointed first to the University of North Carolina being an assistant professor there from 1939 to 1942.
- His parents, Mieczyslaw and Katarzyna Hurewicz, sailed to New York from Rotterdam on the Niew-Amsterdam in April 1939.
- Hurewicz was registered for the draft on 16 February 1942.
- Hurewicz died falling off a ziggurat (a Mexican pyramid) while on a conference outing at the 'International Symposium on Algebraic Topology' in Mexico.
- for separable metric spaces, the book by Hurewicz and Wallman remains a model of clarity and strict parallels between the theory and the geometric insight.
- In addition to this book, Hurewicz is best remembered for two remarkable contributions to mathematics, his discovery of the higher homotopy groups in 1935-36, and his discovery of exact sequences in 1941.
- the idea was not new, but until Hurewicz nobody had pursued it as it should have been.
- Hurewicz had a second textbook published, but this was not until 1958 after his death.
- Both books, beautifully written in a clear and concise manner so characteristic of Hurewicz, are continuously popular, and have been reprinted more than once.
Born 29 June 1904, Łódź, Russian Empire (now Poland). Died 6 September 1956, Mérida, Mexico.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Poland, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive