Person: Zippin, Leo
Leo Zippin was an American mathematician who is best known for being one of those who solved Hilbert's Fifth Problem.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- There was also extreme anti-Semitism and for Max Zippin, who loved the Yiddish culture and supported a workers' revolution, it was a difficult place to live.
- Leo was brought up in New York where he began his education.
- Leo entered Central High School, Philadelphia, on 19 September 1919.
- John Kline was the most influential mathematician in the Philadelphia area during the 1920s and Zippin prospered under his advice.
- Despite the depression, which made it almost impossible for Zippin to gain employment, he did succeed in gaining a National Research Fellowship which funded his visit during 1929-30 to the University of Texas.
- Zippin's paper Generalization of a theorem due to C M Cleveland was read at the 1931 Easter meeting of the American Mathematical Society at the University of California, Berkeley.
- This was an important year for Zippin who was able to work with some outstanding mathematicians such as Oswald Veblen and James Alexander.
- Zippin attended the meeting and delivered a talk On the Rutt-Nöbeling theorem.
- In September of that year the Society again met at Columbia University with Zippin attending and delivering his lecture Characterization of the closed 2-cell.
- If jobs had been hard to get in 1929, they were even harder to get in 1933 when Zippin's fellowship ended.
- However, the Institute for Advanced Study had just opened in Princeton and Zippin was offered a position as research assistant to James Alexander.
- An important event for Zippin's career occurred when, in 1934-35, Deane Montgomery was a National Research Council Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
- In 1936 Zippin left the Institute for Advanced Study when he was appointed as an instructor at New York University.
- Leo Zippin, as a Corporal, followed the development of the first electronic computer, the ENIAC, at the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania, which was to be moved to the Ballistics Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland.
- In late 1945, Zippin returned to his duties at Queens College but he also continued with the work he had undertaken at the Aberdeen Proving Ground being attached to the Institute for Mathematics and Mechanics at New York University.
- Montgomery and Zippin conducted their collaboration while walking.
- Zippin wrote the monograph Topological transformation groups (1955) with Montgomery.
- Although Zippin continued to make an important contribution to Queens College up to his retirement in 1971, his last research paper appeared in 1956.
- At Queens College, Zippin was rightly considered a celebrity.
- Zippin was honoured with election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1970.
- Professor Zippin was an inspiration to many students who pursued graduate studies and careers in mathematics.
- In 1995, Room 508 of Kiely Hall was dedicated to the memory of Professor Zippin, who died that year.
Born 25 January 1905, New York City, New York, USA. Died 11 May 1995, Manhattan, New York, 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