**Rózsa Péter** was a Hungarian mathematician and logician. She became a founder of recursive function theory.

- We choose to use the name Péter throughout this biography.
- Rózsa Péter studied at Pázmány Péter University (renamed Loránd Eötvös University in 1950) in Budapest.
- Another one to have an important influence on Rózsa Péter was László Kalmár who was a fellow student at Pázmány Péter University.
- After graduating in 1927, passing the examinations to qualify as a Gymnasium teacher of mathematics, Péter had to settle for odd jobs.
- Péter had no possibility of getting a permanent teaching position and earned a living tutoring mathematics and giving private lessons.
- During the war years Péter worked on writing a book.
- Péter was sent to the ghetto but in January 1945 the Soviet army took control of Budapest and, although the Nazis had planned to massacre the Jews in the ghetto, they were saved.
- For a while Péter was so discouraged that she turned away from mathematics.
- This experience not only restored Péter's self-confidence, but it also pointed her research in the direction she would follow from then on.
- All her subsequent papers appeared under the Hungarian version of her name, Rózsa Péter, that she adopted around 1932.
- In a series of articles, beginning in 1934, Péter developed various deep theorems about primitive recursive functions, most of them with an explicit algorithmic content.
- Péter's important book Rekursive Funtionen Ⓣ(Recursive functions) (1951) has already been mentioned above.
- In writing this book Ms Péter has carried out a considerable undertaking; and to go further would have constituted a still greater one, and required either a much larger book or a more compact style.
- Péter's work on recursive functions certainly didn't end with this book.
- In this paper Péter looks at words formed from a given alphabet of letters and develops a theory for such words generalising Peano's approach to a study of the integers.
- From the mid 1950s Péter applied recursive function theory to computers.
- In addition to her research contributions and her outstanding books showing non-mathematicians the joy of mathematics, Péter was enthusiastic in trying to improve mathematical education in Hungary.
- Péter received many honours for her outstanding contributions.

Born 17 February 1905, Budapest, Hungary. Died 16 February 1977, Budapest, Hungary.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin Hungary, Women

**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive