Person: Schmidt (5), Wolfgang
Wolfgang Schmidt is an Austrian mathematician who did his most important work in number theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Wolfgang attended schools in Vienna and by the time he was in the 3rd grade of "Middle School" his favourite subjects were mathematics and physics.
- At the University of Vienna, Schmidt specialised in mathematics and physics.
- Given this impressive collection of lecturers, it is not surprising that Schmidt should become interested in number theory.
- While Schmidt was a student, Johann Radon, in addition to lecturing, served as dean during 1951-52 and rector in 1954.
- Schmidt undertook research at the University of Vienna and was awarded a doctorate in 1955 for his thesis on the geometry of numbers Über höhere kritische Determinanten von Sternkörpern Ⓣ(On higher critical determinants of stellar bodies).
- His thesis was exceptional and J W S Cassels devoted a whole chapter in his classic monograph "An Introduction to the Geometry of Numbers" (1959) to explain the results Schmidt had obtained.
- Schmidt's next paper was Eine neue Abschätzung der kritischen Determinante von Sternkörpern Ⓣ(A new estimate of the critical determinant of stellar bodies) (1956).
- In this paper Schmidt improved a bound given by the Minkowski-Hlawka theorem (see E Hlawka, Zur Geometrie der Zahlen Ⓣ(The geometry of the numbers) (1943)).
- These two papers by Schmidt are the first of 202 publications listed in MathSciNet (when consulted in December 2019).
- After graduating, Schmidt continued to undertake research at the University of Vienna first as a research assistant and then as a librarian at the Mathematical Institute.
- Schmidt habilitated at the University of Vienna in 1960, submitting his habilitation thesis Maßtheorie in der Geometrie der Zahlen Ⓣ(Measure theory in the geometry of numbers).
- She then moved to Missoula, Montana, where she met Wolfgang Schmidt.
- From 1960 to 1965 Schmidt spent time at the University of Vienna, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA and Columbia University, New York, USA.
- After moving back to Vienna, Wolfgang and Pat's two sons Michael and Johannes were born.
- In 1965 Schmidt became a professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, a position he held until he retired in 2001.
- Schmidt was a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton on two occasions.
- This topic forms the main part of Schmidt's book Lectures on irregularities of distribution (1977) based on lectures he gave at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, in the autumn of 1972.
- To obtain an overview of the topics that Schmidt worked on, a look at the information about his books is informative.
- Schmidt is among only four number theorists who have been invited to address the International Congress of Mathematicians three times.
- On Wednesday 15 July 2015, Schmidt was awarded an honorary degree by the University of York.
- Professor Schmidt was born in Vienna where he also received his early education.
- In short, Professor Schmidt continues to introduce novel ideas and techniques and produce work at the very highest level.
- Three examples of his fantastic creativity and vision that are still influencing current research, in particular at York, are the celebrated Schmidt Subspace Theorem; the axiomatic formulation of Schmidt Games, and the unifying aspect of Regular Systems.
- Apart from solving important, long-standing problems, Professor Schmidt has been widely influential in formulating new and exciting programmes of research.
- Some of you graduating here today will have come directly into contact with Professor Schmidt's work - two of his books are recommended texts for our fourth year number theory course.
- Professor Schmidt has received many honours including the American Mathematical Society Cole Prize, the Humboldt Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
- For example, Schmidt developed the so-called theory of heights of polynomials.
- In the late 1980s algebraic geometer Bombieri applied Schmidt's results in order to prove effective assertions concerning the number of rational points of elliptic curves.
- With the help of Schmidt's theory.
Born 3 October 1933, Vienna, Austria.
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