Tuesday, 28 June 2011

On This Day in Math - June 28

In my opinion, a mathematician, in so far as he is a mathematician, need not preoccupy himself with philosophy -- an opinion, moreover, which has been expressed by many philosophers.
 Henri Lebesgue

1751 The first volume of Diderot’s and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedie appeared. See Hawkins, Jean d’Alembert, p. 69.*VFR

1751 The first volume of Diderot’s and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedie appeared. See Hawkins, Jean d’Alembert, p. 69. *VFR

1832, the first American case of a cholera epidemic was reported in New York City. Previously, Europe and the Americas were unaffected by the First Cholera Pandemic of 1817 when cholera, long endemic to the Indian subcontinent, spread to Arabia, Syria, and southern Russia. This abated in the early 1820's, but a new cholera cycle began in 1826. It invaded the British Isles in Oct 1831. Canada was struck shortly before cholera reached New York. Cholera was a horrible disease, spread through fouled water. Its victims died after hours of cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Crowded into unsanitary slums, the poor suffered most. Many of the city's elite fled to the countryside. In America, the disease's hold broke by Dec 1832.*TIS

1884 Sonya Kovalevskaya ocially appointed extraordinary professor at Stockholm University. [The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 29; *VFR

In 1958, the Mackinac Bridge, the world longest suspension bridge, was dedicated. Ceremonies began on 24 Jun with the first "Governor's Walk" across the bridge. (It had opened to traffic on 1 Nov 1957.) This bridge joins the upper and lower peninsulas of the state of Michigan, reducing the crossing time, from a couple of hours, to just 10 minutes. Ceremonial groundbreaking took place at the St. Ignace end of the bridge on 7 May 1954, and on the opposite shore at Mackinaw City the next day. Meanwhile caissons and superstructures were assembled as far away as Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Including approaches, the total length is 26,444-ft, needing 34 bridge support foundations. The main span is 3,800-ft long. *TIS

 2011 6-28 has become popular as Tau day with many people who think 2 pi (or 6.28...) is more appropriate, or just a nice addition to Pi-day, on March 14 (or 3.14... )  
1768 George Hadley (12 Feb 1685; 28 Jun 1768 at age 83) English physicist and meteorologist who first formulated an accurate theory describing the trade winds and the associated meridional circulation pattern now known as the Hadley cell.*TIS Hadley died at Flitton and was buried in the chancel of Flitton church.

1875 Henri Lebesgue  He introduced the concept of Lebesgue Measure, a device for measuring the ‘length’ of complicated sets of points on the line, and so is known as the father of modern integration theory.  *VFR  French mathematician whose generalization of the Riemann integral revolutionized the field of integration. He was maître de conférences (lecture master) at the University of Rennes until 1906, when he went to Poitiers, first as chargé de cours (assistant lecturer) of the faculty of sciences and later as...*TIS

1894 Einar Hille born. In the preface of his Analytic Function Theory (1959) he wrote “It is my hope that students of this book may come to respect the historical continuity of the subject.” More authors should include historical footnotes as good as those in this book.*VFR

1920  Nicolaas Hendrik "Nico" Kuiper   was a Dutch mathematician, known for Kuiper's test and proving Kuiper's theorem. He also contributed to the Nash embedding theorem.

Kuiper completed his Ph.D. in differential geometry from the University of Leiden in 1946 under the supervision of Willem van der Woude.

He served as director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques from 1971 to 1985.*Wik


1889  Maria Mitchell  First American professional woman astronomer, born Nantucket, Mass. While pursuing an amateur interest, on 1 Oct 1847, she gained fame from the observation of a comet which she was first to report. She was also the first female member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences. She died at age 70 in Lynn, Mass. 

1930  William J Greenstreet graduated from Cambridge and became headmaster of Marling School Stroud. He is best-known as the long-running editor of the Mathematical Gazette
1956 Functional analyst Friedrich Riesz died.*VFR 
Riesz, Frigyes
One of the most significant personalities among Hungarian mathematicians.

At the beginning he studied engineering at the Technical University of Zurich, but he soon realised that he was much more interested in mathematics than in technical subjects. So he continued to study at the Royal Hungarian University of Sciences in Budapest. For him the lectures of Gyula Kőnig and József Kürschák meant the most. Then he learnt for a year in Göttingen and attended the lectures of David Hilbert and Hermann Minkowski. He obtained his PhD degree and diploma of secondary school teacher of mathematics and physics in Budapest.

1952  William Watson graduated in Mathematics and Physics from Edinburgh University. He became head of the Physics department at Heriot Watt College in Edinburgh.*SAU

1984  Claude Chevalley had a major influence on the development of several areas of mathematics including Ring Theory and Group Theory *SAU

1974  Vannever Bush  American electrical engineer and administrator who and oversaw government mobilization of scientific research during World War II. At the age of 35, in 1925, he developed the differential analyzer, the world's first analog computer. It was capable of solving differential equations. He put into concrete form that which began 50 years earlier with the incomplete efforts of Babbage, and the theoretical details developed by Kelvin. This machine filled a 20 x 30 foot room. He innovated one of the largest growing media in our time, namely hypermedia as fulfilled in the Internet with hypertext links *TIS

*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*TIS= Today in Science History
*Wik = Wikipedia
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
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