Person: Whyburn (2), William Marvin
Gordon Whyburn was an American mathematician who worked on topology.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Robert Moore had been appointed as associate professor at the University of Texas in 1920 and it was Moore who taught Whyburn calculus early in his university studies.
- Moore quickly saw the mathematical potential in Whyburn, and Whyburn was soon attending further mathematics courses given by Moore who encouraged him greatly towards the study of mathematics.
- Even before he obtained his first degree in chemistry, Whyburn was undertaking research in mathematics with Moore.
- Of course with Moore having a deep interest in topology, that was the direction that Whyburn took and it was to become the topic of his research throughout his life.
- Whyburn had other connections with mathematics at the University of Texas in addition to his work with Moore.
- William Whyburn went on to become Chairman of the Mathematics Department at the University of California, Los Angeles and then at the University of North Carolina.
- Despite having these connections with mathematics and despite Moore strongly encouraging him to move from chemistry to mathematics, Whyburn continued with his chemistry studies being awarded his Master's Degree in 1926.
- In 1929 Whyburn, together with his wife, was able to go to Europe, financed by a Guggenheim Fellowship, where he spent academic year 1929-30.
- Back in the United States, Whyburn was appointed associate professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, then in 1933 he was approached by the University of Virginia who asked him to accept an appointment as professor and chairman of the Department of Mathematics.
- Whyburn's first research contributions were on cyclic elements and the structure of continua.
- Around the time Whyburn went to the University of Virginia he began working on homology theory and examined different notions of convergence in the space of all subsets of a compact metric space.
- From around 1936 Whyburn looked at open maps and their applications to complex function theory.
- The book was the result of further developing material which Whyburn had presented as American Mathematical Society Colloquium lecturer in 1940.
- Later major texts by Whyburn were Topological analysis (1958) and Dynamic topology which was jointly authored by Edwin Duda and was published 10 years after Whyburn's death.
- Although Whyburn spent his career from 1934 at Virginia, he did make frequent visits for summer teaching.
Born 7 January 1904, Lewisville, Texas, USA. Died 8 September 1969, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Usa, Topology
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive