Person: Kuiper, Nicolaas Hendrik
Nicolaas Kuiper was a Dutch mathematician who made important contributions to operator theory as well as to topology and statistics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Leiden university was completely closed by the Germans from 1942 to 1945 and from 1942 to 1947, Kuiper worked as a secondary school teacher of mathematics, while at the same time working for a doctorate with Willem van der Woude as his advisor and was awarded the degree in 1946 for his thesis Onderzoekingen over lijnenmeetkunde Ⓣ(Studies on line geometry) which discussed a topic in classical differential geometry.
- After the award of his doctorate Kuiper spent some time in the United States.
- Returning to the Netherlands from the United States, Kuiper taught mathematics and statistics at the Landbouwhogeschool (Agricultural University) in Wageningen, contributing a number of geometric insights to the theory of design of experiments.
- In 1971 Kuiper was appointed Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques at Bures-sur-Yvette near Paris.
- Kuiper excelled on the scientific side.
- According to David Ruelle, who has been a permanent professor at the IHES since 1964, Kuiper understood that in-depth discussion of research matters was the best way to make decisions about whom to invite.
- These discussions, says Ruelle, "were more interesting and effective than a case-by-case discussion of individual applications, with the usual guesswork of how to read between the lines of letters of recommendation." Still, there was dissatisfaction over Kuiper's lack of attention to physics and his inability to penetrate the workings of the French bureaucracy.
- Kuiper retired as director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in 1985.
- The book Tight and taut submanifolds contains a paper based on the Roever Lectures in Geometry Kuiper gave at Washington University in St Louis, USA, from 20 January to 24 January 1986.
- The IHES paid tribute to Kuiper by naming their new library the "Nicolaas Kuiper Library".
- During his mandate, Nicolaas Kuiper succeeded in getting European support and helped greatly to build the international reputation of IHES.
- Among the honours given to Kuiper were membership of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences in 1965, membership of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in 1978, Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1981, Honorary Doctorate from Brown University in 1984, Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion in 1985, Humboldt Prize for scientific cooperation between Germany and France in 1986 and corresponding membership of the Göttingen Academy in 1990.
Born 28 June 1920, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Died 12 December 1994, Heteren, The Netherlands.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Netherlands, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive