Oswald Veblen
Oswald Veblen  

Oswald Veblen (photo ca. 1915)


Born  Decorah, Iowa, U.S. 
June 24, 1880
Died  August 10, 1960 Brooklin, Maine, U.S. 
(aged 80)
Institutions  Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study 
Alma mater  University of Iowa, Harvard University, University of Chicago 
Thesis  A System of Axioms for Geometry (1903) 
Doctoral advisor  E. H. Moore 
Doctoral students  J. W. Alexander H. Roy Brahana Alonzo Church Philip Franklin Harold Hotelling Howard H. Mitchell Robert Lee Moore J. H. C. Whitehead 
Oswald Veblen (June 24, 1880 – August 10, 1960) was 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;^{[1]} while this was long considered the first rigorous proof, many now also consider Jordan's original proof rigorous.
Life
Veblen was born in Decorah, Iowa. He 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.
Veblen 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.
During his years in Princeton, Veblen and his wife Elizabeth accumulated land along the Princeton Ridge. In 1957 they donated 82 acres (33 ha) to establish the Herrontown Woods Arboretum, one of the largest nature preserves in Princeton, New Jersey.^{[2]}
Veblen died in Brooklin, Maine, in 1960 at age 80. After his death 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.
Accomplishments
During his career, Veblen 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. In World War II he was involved in overseeing ballistics work at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds that involved early modern computing machines, in particular supporting the proposal for creation of the pioneering ENIAC electronic digital computer.^{[3]}^{[4]}^{[5]} He also published a paper in 1912 on the fourcolor conjecture.
Family
Veblen's uncle was Thorstein Veblen, noted economist and sociologist. Oswald Veblen's parents were Andrew Anderson Veblen and Kirsti Hougen.
Books by O. Veblen
 Introduction to infinitesimal analysis; functions of one real variable with N. J. Lennes (John Wiley & Sons, 1907)^{[6]}
 Projective geometry with John Wesley Young (Ginn and Co., Vol. 1, 1910;^{[7]} Vol. 2, 1918^{[8]})
 Analysis Situs (American Mathematical Society, 1922;^{[9]} 2nd edn. 1931)
 Invariants of Quadratic Differential Forms (Cambridge University Press, 1927)^{[10]}
 The Foundations of Differential Geometry with J. H. C. Whitehead (Cambridge University Press, 1932)^{[11]}
 Projektive Relativitätstheorie (Springer Verlag, 1933)^{[12]}
References
 ↑ Mac Lane, Saunders (1964). "Oswald Veblen June 24, 1880—August 10, 1960". Biographical Memoirs of the Natl Acad Sci U S A (PDF). Washington, D.C.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
 ↑ "Large Tract Donated". The Town Topics. 28 July 1957. Retrieved 19 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
 ↑ Mac Lane (1964), pg 333.
 ↑ "ARL Computing History"
 ↑ "The History of Computing at BRL", [Mike Muuss]
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External links
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Oswald Veblen 
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oswald Veblen (mathematician). 
 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Oswald Veblen", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
 Obituary and Bibliography of Oswald Veblen (also available here)
 Works by Oswald Veblen at Project Gutenberg
 Steve Batterson, The Vision, Insight, and Influence of Oswald Veblen, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 54, no. 5 (May 2007)
 "Projective relativity theory," transl. by D. H. Delphenich
 20thcentury American mathematicians
 Topologists
 Geometers
 Ballistics experts
 1880 births
 1960 deaths
 Institute for Advanced Study faculty
 People from Decorah, Iowa
 University of Iowa alumni
 Harvard University alumni
 University of Chicago alumni
 Princeton University faculty
 American people of Norwegian descent
 Presidents of the American Mathematical Society