Person: Serrin, James Burton
James Serrin was an American mathematician who worked in nonlinear analysis, partial differential equations, fluid mechanics, continuum mechanics, and thermodynamics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- His parents were James Burton Serrin and Helen Elizabeth Wingate.
- Although James was born in Chicago, he was brought up in Evanston, Illinois.
- For James, however, music and art were hobbies as he entered Northwestern University in 1944 to study science and engineering.
- Serrin undertook graduate studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, where, after attending mathematics courses, he received his Master's degree.
- As well as the two mathematicians mentioned in this quote, we should also note that at Indiana University Serrin met Clifford Truesdell.
- As well as giving Serrin a lifelong interest in thermodynamics, the two became firm friends.
- Serrin worked for his doctorate at Indiana University with David Gilbarg as his thesis advisor.
- Serrin was awarded a Ph.D. in 1951 for his thesis The Existence and Uniqueness of Flows Solving Four Free Boundary Problems.
- This journal was later renamed the Archives for Rational Mechanics and Analysis and Serrin joined the editorial board in 1963.
- In 1954 Serrin was appointed as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota.
- The period 1963-1964 highlights the full maturity of Jim Serrin's thought, in particular in mastering the art of well adapted test functions for studying general quasilinear equations.
- Shortly afterwards, in collaboration with Howard Jenkins, James Serrin published a surprising article on construction of minimal surfaces.
- At the University of Minnesota, Serrin served as Head of School of Mathematics during 1964-65 and, in 1969, was named Regents' Professor of Mathematics.
- In 1995 Serrin retired and was named Professor Emeritus of Mathematics by the University of Minnesota.
- Many research visits made by Serrin over the years led to him holding visiting positions at Stanford University (Summer 1961), the University of Chicago (Spring 1964, Spring 1975), Johns Hopkins University (Spring 1966), University of Sussex (1967-68, 1970, 1972), the Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm (1975), the University of Naples (Summer 1979), the University of Perugia (Spring 1985, Summer 1992), Oxford University (Spring 1986), the University of Modena (Spring 1988), and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Autumn 1990).
- During his visit to the University of Chicago, Serrin gave lectures which were published as Foundations of classical thermodynamics (1975).
- The next book by Serrin was not published until after his retired.
- We noted above the two addresses that Serrin gave to the International Congress.
Born 1 November 1926, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Died 23 August 2012, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive