Home > Mathematician of the Week Archive Detail

<< Prev 10/19/2014 Next >>

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but my family moved to New York City when I was 3 years old...my parents felt I was underachieving in grade school so they sent me to the Ethical Culture School.

Later I went to Harvard where I received a BA, an MA, and a Ph.D. in mathematics...in a 6-year period.

My entire career was basically being a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois, interrupted by WWII when I served as a civilian consultant on mine warfare for the Navy (thanks to an invitation from Oswald Veblen).

My primary research contribution was the development of martingale theory, included in my text on probability theory which was said to be one of the most influential books since LaPlace's 1812 text.

I also worked on boundary value problems, complex function theory, ergodic theory, and axiomatic potential theory.

My passions were canoeing local rivers and hiking in all weather conditions as part of the Saturday Hikers, an informal group with a 100-year history

Answer: Joseph Doob (1910 - 2004)