Thursday, 28 June 2012

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

The 180th day of the year; 180 can be formed with the only the first two primes... 180 = 22 x 32 x (2+3) *Prime Curios


EVENTS
1451 Sort of the American version of the Medes and Lydians. The Seneca and Mohawk tribes were preparing for war when a total solar eclipse swept over both their camps late in the afternoon of this early summer day. Both immediately sued for peace. (ref. DB 6/97: "A star Called the Sun" by George Gamow). *NSEC

1489 Last total solar eclipse on Easter Island. The next one will occur on 11 July 2012 and thereafter on 25 February 2324. Ref. More Mathematical Astronomical Morsels by Jean Meeus; Willmann-Bell, 2002. *NSEC

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 officially 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

2009 Stephen Hawking gave a party for time travelers at 12:00 UT on this day. He did not announce the event until after it was over, and it appears that no one else cared to attend. Below is the invitation, so if you missed it up until now, it's not to late to choose not to attend. (So much for free will)
*daily Mail online

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... )


 


Births

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 (June 28, 1875 – July 26, 1941) 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 (28 June 1894 – 12 February 1980) 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 Hille's main work was on integral equations, differential equations, special functions, Dirichlet series and Fourier series. Later in his career his interests turned more towards functional analysis. His name persists among others in the Hille–Yosida theorem. *Wik

1920 Nicolaas Hendrik "Nico" Kuiper (28 June 1920, Rotterdam - 12 December 1994, Utrecht) 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

1972 Ngô Bảo Châu (June 28, 1972 - ) is a Vietnamese and French mathematician at the University of Chicago, best known for proving the fundamental lemma for automorphic forms proposed by Robert Langlands and Diana Shelstad. In 2004, Chau and Laumon were awarded the Clay Research Award for their achievement in solving the fundamental lemma proposed by Robert Langlands for the case of unitary groups. Chau also became the youngest professor in Vietnam in 2005. His proof of the general case was selected by Time as one of the Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2009. In 2010, he received the Fields Medal and in 2012, the Legion of Honour He is the first Vietnamese to receive the Fields Medal *Wik
DEATHS
1889 Maria Mitchell (August 1, 1818 – June 28, 1889) 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.

Riesz, Frigyes1956 Functional analyst Friedrich Riesz (Jan. 22, 1880, in Győr; died Feb. 28, 1956, in Budapest) died.*VFR 
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 (11 February 1909, Johannesburg – 28 June 1984, Paris) had a major influence on the development of several areas of mathematics including Ring Theory and Group Theory *SAU

1974  Vannever Bush ( March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) 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






Credits
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell
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