Person: Mackey, George Whitelaw
George Mackey was an American mathematician who worked on the representation theory of groups.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Many mathematicians know that mathematics is the subject for them at a young age but Mackey struggled to find the right topic for him.
- Changes of direction did not come easily to Mackey who described them as a "soul struggle", but he decided to move from the chemical engineering course to study physics.
- After the award of a bachelor's degree from the Rice Institute in 1938 (Rice Institute was founded in 1891 and only became Rice University in 1960), Mackey went to Harvard to undertake postgraduate work.
- After the award of his Ph.D. from Harvard, Mackey spent a year teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
- Early in his career Mackey worked on the duality theory of locally convex spaces publishing papers which include On infinite dimensional linear spaces (1943), On convex topological linear spaces (1943), Equivalence of a problem in measure theory to a problem in the theory of vector lattices (1944), (with Shizuo Kakutani) Ring and lattice characterization of complex Hilbert space (1946), On convex topological linear spaces (1946).
- This work was related to Imprimitivity for representations of locally compact groups which Mackey published in the same year.
- In 1955 Mackey gave a course of lectures on the theory of group representations at the University of Chicago in the summer of 1955.
- In 1967 Mackey published Lectures on the theory of functions of a complex variable which was based on an undergraduate course he gave at Harvard during the academic year 1959-60.
- During the academic year 1966-67, Mackey delivered a series of lectures on group representations and their applications at Oxford University in England where he was George Eastman visiting professor.
- Mackey has written many beautiful survey articles and in 1992 the American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society in their wonderful series 'History of Mathematics' published The scope and history of commutative and noncommutative harmonic analysis by Mackey.
- This consisted mostly of survey articles written by Mackey as expanded versions of lectures given at conferences between 1977 and 1988.
- Many doctoral students at Harvard having Mackey as a thesis advisor went on to have academic careers.
Born 1 February 1916, St Louis, Missouri, USA. Died 15 March 2006, Belmont, 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