Person: Warga, Jack
Jack Warga was a Polish-born American mathematician who worked in optimal control theory and nonsmooth analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- His given name was originally Yitzhak, and only after he emigrated to the United States did he begin to use the name Jack.
- The Polish language was one of Warga's special interests when he was at school and he had a particular interest in Polish literature and poetry.
- The fifteen year old Warga was attacked and injured by hooligans while walking in Warsaw in a racially motivated attack.
- In Brussels, Warga attended high school and, after displaying his academic brilliance, he graduated in 1939.
- Warga escaped to France which now was the focus of the advancing Germans and before the end of June a Franco-German Armistice was signed.
- A pro-German French government moved to Vichy in July 1940 and Warga managed to reach Vichy France.
- From Spain, Warga managed to get on a ship to Cuba and from there he reached the United States in 1943.
- It was around this time he started to use the name Jack.
- After the war ended, Warga was demobbed from the army and only at this stage was he able to resume his education.
- Warga now left the academic world and he worked for sixteen years as an industrial mathematician and computer scientist.
- Warga's extensive exposition will be of value to mathematicians interested in functional analysis, calculus of variations, optimal control and systems science.
- Now long before this book was published, Warga had left working as an industrial mathematician and computer scientist having been appointed to the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, as Professor of Mathematics in 1966.
- The mathematical community benefited from Warga's contributions in many ways, one important way being as an editor of the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization.
- Boris Mordukhovich refers to the many people whom Jack generously helped, not expecting anything in return.
- Boris recalls meeting Jack three days after arriving in the United States: "He helped me enormously by advising me on the preparation of my CV and introducing me to the mathematical community.
- Jack was exceptionally kind and generous, especially towards young mathematicians.
- Anonymously, Jack also worked extensively for human rights for scientists throughout the world.
- Kazimierz Malanowski recalled the emails he exchanged with Warga following the conference organised in celebration of Warga's 80th birthday.
- Just by chance, it happened that both of them, Jack and Mr Bartoszewski, were born in 1922 and were living on the same Bielanska Street in Warsaw.
- The house still exists and Jack was happy to visit it and to talk with the present inhabitants.
- Jack showed us Faye's study where one of her unfinished paintings was still on the easel and told us that her memory kept returning to him.
- Although he was 88 years old in June 2011, Warga did not appear to be that old since he was still in excellent physical and mental shape.
Born 20 September 1922, Warsaw, Poland. Died 26 June 2011, Boynton Beach, Florida, USA.
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