Person: Stone (2), Marshall Harvey
Stone is best known for the Stone-Weierstrass theorem on uniform approximation of continuous functions by polynomials.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- During the period that he was an instructor Stone's interests followed very much those of his research supervisor Birkhoff.
- In 1928 Stone was promoted to associate professor at Harvard.
- Although he would return to Harvard again in 1933, Stone first accepted a post as associate professor at Yale from 1931 to 1933.
- During these years Stone's research took a number of different directions.
- Stone's book is very different in spirit, in aim, in tone, in style, in timeliness, and in applicability.
- The work was begun in 1928, when Stone was 25; it was published when he was 29.
- This article included the celebrated Stone-von Neumann uniqueness theorem.
- These papers contain what today is called Stone-Čech compactification theory.
- One particularly important result proved by Stone during this period was a substantial generalisation of Weierstrass's theorem on uniform approximation of continuous functions by polynomials.
- This result is now known as the Stone-Weierstrass theorem.
- This did not happen easily for Stone negotiated for a year with Robert Maynard Hutchins, President of the University of Chicago, before taking up the appointment.
- Stone did an outstanding job in returning this famous research school to the eminence it had previously known.
- Stone won the argument, the offer was made to Whitney, but he turned it down preferring to remain at Harvard.
- Again Stone won the argument and this time the offer was accepted.
- Stone continued to appoint leading mathematicians.
- This last appointment proved the hardest to get past the Chicago administration and Stone threatened to resign in a bid to get his own way.
- From 1952 Stone stepped down as head of department in favour of Mac Lane but he remained at Chicago until he retired in 1968.
- Stone received many honours for his outstanding achievements.
- Stone was elected president of the International Mathematical Union in 1952-54 and he was president of the International Committee of Mathematical Instruction from 1961 to 1967.
- Marshall Stone was a man with a very broad outlook and a wide range of interests who seems to have thought rather deeply about a number of issues.
Born 8 April 1903, New York, USA. Died 9 January 1989, Madras (now Chennai), India.
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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