• 1881 June 24
    (b.) -
    1960 August 10


An American mathematician, geometer and topologist, whose work found application in atomic physics and the theory of relativity. He proved the Jordan curve theorem in 1905. During his career, he made important contributions in topology and in projective and differential geometries, including results important in modern physics. He introduced the Veblen axioms for projective geometry and proved the Veblen?Young theorem. He introduced the Veblen functions of ordinals and used an extension of them to define the small and large Veblen ordinals. He was involved in overseeing the World War II work that produced the pioneering ENIAC electronic digital computer. He also published a paper in 1912 on the four-color conjecture. He was born in Decorah, Iowa and went to school in Iowa City. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa, where he received an A.B. in 1898, and Harvard University, where he was awarded a second B.A. in 1900. For his graduate studies, he went to study mathematics at the University of Chicago, where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1903. His dissertation, A System of Axioms for Geometry was written under the supervision of E. H. Moore. He taught mathematics at Princeton University from 1905 to 1932. In 1926, he was named Henry B. Fine Professor of Mathematics. In 1932, he helped organize the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, resigning his professorship to become the First Professor at the Institute that same year. He kept his Professorship at the Institute until he was made Emeritus in 1950. After his death in 1960, the American Mathematical Society created an award in his name, called the Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry. It is awarded every three years, and is the most prestigious award in recognition of outstanding research in geometry. Publications he co-authored are: ?Projective Geometry? with John Wesley Young (Ginn and co., 1910-1918); and ?Introduction to Infinitesimal Analysis; Functions of One Real Variable? with N. J. Lennes (John Wiley & Sons, 1907)
  • Date of Birth:

    1881 June 24
  • Date of Death:

    1960 August 10
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Involved in overseeing the World War II work that produced the pioneering ENIAC electronic digital computer
  • Category of Achievement:

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