Home > Mathematician of the Week Archive Detail

<< Prev 10/28/2012 Next >>

I was born to a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary, then moved with my parents (both doctors) to New York City.

I obtained both my B.A. and my Ph.D. in mathematics from New York University...and also married Anneli, a classmate studying to become a mathematician as well.

At age 32, I posed a conjecture about matrix representations for third order hyperbolic polynomials that was not proven for four decades...even though mathematicians in many areas of mathematics recognized its broad importance.

My mathematical interests include diverse areas in both pure and applied mathematics... contribtuing to knowledge of integrable systems, fluid dynamics, shock waves, solitonic physics, hyperbolic conservation laws, and mathematical computing.

I am humbled by my many honors: membership in the Norwegian Academy of Science and the National Academy of Sciences...plus awards such as the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize, and the Abel Prize.

But my real claim to fame...in 1970, a Weatherman-inspired student group took a super computer hostage at NYU's Courant Institute and threatened to destroy it...but I managed to disable the devices and save the machine!

Answer: Peter Lax (1926 - )