Person: Specker, Ernst Paul
Ernst Specker was a Swiss mathematician who made decisive contributions towards shaping directions in topology, algebra, mathematical logic, combinatorics and algorithms.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Ernst attended kindergarten in Zürich.
- Ernst was happy at this school but his health broke down when he contracted tuberculosis after beginning secondary school.
- Specker passed his university entrance examinations in the autumn of 1940.
- Specker's parents were rather unhappy about this but in the end they consented.
- From 1945 to 1948 Specker was employed as an assistant at ETH, working first for Saxer, then for Hopf and Plancherel.
- He attended Bernays' seminar on Axiomatics and Logistics and one of the topics studied led to Specker's paper Nicht konstruktiv beweisbare Sätze der Analysis Ⓣ(Non-constructively-provable theorems of analysis) (1949).
- Roman Sikorski also attended the seminar and interaction with him led to Specker's paper Sur un problème de Sikorski Ⓣ(On a problem of Sikorski) (1949).
- We noted above that Specker was crippled by the illness he had suffered.
- Specker returned to ETH for session 1950-51 when he substituted for Hopf in teaching a course on linear algebra.
- In 1987 Specker gave his farewell lecture at the ETH Zürich Postmoderne Mathematik: Abschied vom Paradies?.
Born 11 February 1920, Zürich, Switzerland. Died 10 December 2011, Zürich, Switzerland.
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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