JEWISH MATHEMATICIANS

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 SHORT LIST
  • Abram Besicovitch
  • Salomon Bochner
  • Raoul Bott 4
  • Georg Cantor 6
  • Paul Cohen
  • Richard Courant
  • Joseph Doob
  • Samuel Eilenberg
  • Gotthold Eisenstein
  • Paul Erdös
  • Lipót Fejér
  • Israel Gelfand
  • Alexander Grothendieck 12
  • Jacques Hadamard
  • Felix Hausdorff
  • Ernst Hellinger
  • Heinz Hopf 14
  • Witold Hurewicz
  • Adolph Hurwitz
  • Carl G. J. Jacobi
  • Mark Kac
  • Leopold Kronecker
  • Peter Lax
  • Solomon Lefschetz
  • Tullio Levi-Civita
  • Paul Lévy
  • Rudolph Lipschitz
  • Benoit Mandelbrot
  • Hermann Minkowski
  • John von Neumann
  • Emmy Noether
  • Grigori Perelman
  • George Pólya
  • Emil Post
  • Alfréd Rényi
  • Frederic (Frigyes) Riesz 
  • Abraham Robinson
  • Klaus Roth
  • Issai Schur
  • Laurent Schwartz
  • I. M. Singer
  • James Joseph Sylvester
  • Gábor Szegö
  • Alfred Tarski
  • Otto Toeplitz
  • Paul Turán
  • Paul Urysohn
  • Vito Volterra
  • André Weil
  • Norbert Wiener
  • Edward Witten
  • Oscar Zariski
LONG LIST
  • Shmuel Agmon
  • Naum Akhiezer
  • A. Adrian Albert
  • Shimshon Amitsur
  • Stuart Antman
  • Vladimir Arnold 1
  • Siegfried Aronhold
  • Nachman Aronszajn
  • Cesare Arzelŕ
  • Giulio Ascoli
  • Robert Aumann
  • Louis Auslander
  • Maurice Auslander
  • James Ax
  • Reinhold Baer
  • Alan Baker
  • Grigory Barenblatt
  • Hyman Bass
  • Richard Bellman 2
  • Paul Bernays
  • Stefan Bergman
  • Felix Bernstein
  • Joseph (Iosif) Bernstein
  • Sergei Bernstein
  • Lipman Bers
  • Abram Besicovitch
  • Joan Birman
  • Max Black
  • Spencer Bloch
  • Salomon Bochner
  • Harald Bohr 3
  • Vladimir Boltyanskii
  • Carl Borchardt
  • Raoul Bott 4
  • Richard Brauer
  • Haďm Brezis
  • Felix Browder 5
  • William Browder 5
  • Eugenio Calabi
  • Georg Cantor 6
  • Moritz Cantor
  • Sylvain Cappell
  • Leonard Carlitz
  • Guido Castelnuovo
  • Gregory Chaitin
  • Jeff Cheeger
  • Herman Chernoff
  • Paul Cohen
  • Paul Moritz Cohn
  • Ronald Coifman
  • Julian Cole
  • Richard Courant
  • George Dantzig
  • Martin Davis
  • Max Dehn
  • Percy Deift
  • Persi Diaconis 7
  • Roland Dobrushin
  • Wolfgang Doeblin
  • Joseph Doob
  • Jesse Douglas 8
  • Vladimir Drinfeld
  • Louis Dublin
  • Aryeh Dvoretsky
  • Bernard Dwork
  • Eugene (Evgenii) Dynkin
  • Leon Ehrenpreis
  • Samuel Eilenberg
  • Albert Einstein
  • Gotthold Eisenstein
  • Noam Elkies
  • Federigo Enriques
  • Arthur Erdélyi
  • Paul Erdös
  • Gino Fano
  • Herbert Federer
  • Solomon Feferman
  • Charles Fefferman
  • Walter Feit
  • Lipót Fejér
  • Michael Fekete
  • William Feller 9
  • Moritz Werner Fenchel
  • Moshé Flato
  • Adolf Abraham Fraenkel
  • Philipp Frank
  • Felix Frankl
  • Michael Freedman 10
  • Hans Freudenthal
  • Avner Friedman
  • Harvey Friedman
  • Guido Fubini
  • Laszlo Fuchs
  • Lazarus Fuchs
  • Hillel Furstenberg
  • David Gale
  • Boris Galerkin
  • Israel Gelfand
  • Alexandr Gelfond
  • Semyon Gershgorin
  • Gersonides
  • Murray Gerstenhaber
  • Iosif Gikhman
  • Alexander Givental
  • George Glauberman
  • Israel Gohberg
  • Dorian Goldfeld
  • Gene Golub
  • Martin Golubitsky
  • I. J. Good
  • Paul Gordan
  • Daniel Gorenstein
  • Leslie Greengard
  • Mikhael Gromov 11
  • Benedict Gross
  • Alexander Grothendieck 12
  • Branko Grünbaum
  • Larry Guth
  • Alfréd Haar
  • Jacques Hadamard
  • Hans Hahn
  • Paul Halmos
  • Georges-Henri Halphen
  • Frank Harary
  • David Harbater
  • Felix Hausdorff
  • Hans Heilbronn
  • Eduard Heine
  • Ernst Hellinger
  • Eduard Helly
  • Kurt Hensel 13
  • Israel Herstein
  • Peter Hilton
  • Morris Hirsch 
  • Gerhard Hochschild
  • Melvin Hochster
  • Heinz Hopf 14
  • Ehud Hrushovski
  • Witold Hurewicz
  • Adolph Hurwitz
  • Carl G. J. Jacobi
  • Nathan Jacobson
  • Arthur Jaffe
  • Fritz John 15
  • Mark Kac
  • Victor Kac
  • Richard Kadison
  • Jean-Pierre Kahane
  • Gil Kalai
  • László Kalmár
  • Leonid Kantorovich
  • Irving Kaplansky
  • Samuel Karlin
  • Richard Karp
  • Edward Kasner
  • Nets Katz
  • Nicholas Katz
  • Yitzhak Katznelson
  • David Kazhdan
  • Herbert Keller
  • Joseph Keller
  • John Kemeny
  • Carlos Kenig
  • Harry Kesten
  • Alexander Khinchine
  • Simon Kochen
  • Joseph Kohn
  • Dénes König
  • Julius König
  • Leo Königsberger
  • Bertram Kostant
  • Mark Krasnoselskii
  • Mark Krein
  • Selim Krein
  • Georg Kreisel
  • Leopold Kronecker
  • Joseph Kruskal
  • Martin Kruskal
  • William Kruskal
  • Kazimierz Kuratowski 16
  • Imre Lakatos
  • Cornelius Lanczos
  • Edmund Landau
  • Serge Lang
  • Emanuel Lasker
  • Peter Lax
  • Solomon Lefschetz
  • Beppo Levi
  • Eugenio Elia Levi
  • Friedrich Levi
  • Tullio Levi-Civita
  • Leonid Levin
  • Norman Levinson
  • Boris Levitan
  • Ya'acov Levitzki
  • Paul Lévy
  • Hans Lewy
  • Elliott Lieb
  • Adolf Lindenbaum
  • Elon Lindenstrauss
  • Joram Lindenstrauss
  • Rudolph Lipschitz
  • Charles Loewner
  • Alfred Loewy
  • Gino Loria
  • Alfred Lotka 17
  • Grigorii Lozanovsky
  • Alex Lubotzky
  • Lazar Lusternik
  • George Lusztig
  • Kurt Mahler
  • Szolem Mandelbrojt
  • Benoit Mandelbrot
  • Yuri Manin 18
  • Henry Mann
  • Amédée Mannheim
  • Gregori Margulis
  • Walther Mayer
  • Vladimir Maz'ya
  • Barry Mazur
  • Yves Meyer
  • David Milman
  • Vitali Milman
  • Hermann Minkowski
  • Richard von Mises
  • Boris Moishezon
  • Louis Mordell
  • George Mostow
  • Jose Moyal
  • Mark Naimark
  • Assaf Naor
  • I. P. Natanson
  • Arkadi Nemirovski
  • John von Neumann
  • Paul Nevai
  • Charles Newman
  • Max Newman 19
  • Louis Nirenberg
  • Emmy Noether
  • Max Noether
  • Donald Ornstein
  • Alexander Ostrowski
  • Emanuel Parzen
  • Moritz Pasch
  • Grigori Perelman
  • Rózsa Péter
  • Ralph Phillips
  • Ilya Piatetski-Shapiro
  • Salvatore Pincherle
  • Felix Pollaczek
  • George Pólya
  • Emil Post
  • Moritz Presburger
  • Alfred Pringsheim
  • Hilary Putnam
  • Michael Rabin
  • Philip Rabinowitz
  • Richard Rado
  • Dmitriy Raikov
  • Marina Ratner
  • Robert Remak
  • Alfréd Rényi
  • Kenneth Ribet
  • Frederic (Frigyes) Riesz
  • Marcel Riesz
  • Herbert Robbins
  • Abraham Robinson
  • Olinde Rodrigues
  • Vladimir Rokhlin
  • Jakob Rosanes
  • Johann Rosenhain
  • Maxwell Rosenlicht
  • Klaus Roth
  • Karl Rubin
  • Walter Rudin
  • Stanislaw Saks
  • Raphaël Salem
  • Peter Sarnak
  • Leonard 'Jimmie' Savage
  • Robert Schatten
  • Juliusz Schauder
  • Martin Schechter
  • M. M. Schiffer
  • Arthur Schönflies
  • Oded Schramm
  • Issai Schur
  • Jacob T. Schwartz
  • Laurent Schwartz
  • Albert Schwarz
  • I. E. Segal
  • Beniamino Segrč
  • Corrado Segrč
  • Saharon Shelah
  • Lev Shnirelman
  • James Shohat
  • Naum Shor
  • Barry Simon
  • James Simons
  • Yakov Sinai
  • I. M. Singer
  • Robert Solovay
  • Edwin Spanier
  • Frank Spitzer
  • Richard Stanley
  • Elias Stein
  • Robert Steinberg
  • Hugo Steinhaus
  • Ernst Steinitz
  • Moritz Abraham Stern
  • Shlomo Sternberg
  • Steven Strogatz
  • Daniel Stroock
  • James Joseph Sylvester
  • Otto Szász
  • Gábor Szegö
  • Edward Szpilrajn-Marczewski
  • Jacob Tamarkin
  • Alfred Tarski
  • Alfred Tauber
  • Olga Taussky-Todd
  • Otto Toeplitz
  • Henryk Toruńczyk
  • Paul Turán
  • Stanislaw Ulam
  • Paul Urysohn
  • Anatoliy Vershik
  • Naum Vilenkin
  • Vito Volterra
  • Abraham Wald
  • André Weil
  • Alexander Weinstein
  • Wendelin Werner
  • Harold Widom
  • Norbert Wiener
  • Eugene Wigner
  • Aurel Wintner
  • Edward Witten
  • Jacob Wolfowitz
  • Paul Wolfskehl
  • Akiva Yaglom
  • David Yudin
  • Lotfi Zadeh 20
  • Don Zagier
  • Oscar Zariski
  • Doron Zeilberger
  • Efim Zelmanov
  • Leo Zippin

NOTES

1. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see Celestial Encounters, by F. Diacu and P. Holmes (Princeton, 1996, p. 191).

2.
In Eye of the Hurricane: An Autobiography (World Scientific, Singapore, 1984, Chapter 1), Bellman indicates that his maternal grandmother was Jewish, but states that he suspects that his Polish-born, maternal grandfather, Samuel Saffian, was of Catholic origin, although he practiced no religion.  "Saffian" is, in fact, most commonly a Jewish name and a "Samuel Saffian" from Poland, married to a Jewish woman, would most likely have been of Jewish origin.  (Spelled "Safian," the name is almost exclusively Jewish.  Spelled with a double "f," the name can also be German, but it is not Armenian, as Bellman implies that it may have been.)  A few sentences later, he states that "I suspect  also that my father was also only  one-half Jewish" (emphasis added).  This seems to be saying that his father was nominally JewishGenealogical evidence indicates that all four of Bellman's grandparents were Jewish.

3. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.
4. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see Raoul Bott: Collected Papers, Vol. 1  (Birkhäuser, Boston, 1994, pp. 11-12).

5. Jewish mother (née Raissa Berkmann), non-Jewish father.  See Earl Browder, by James Ryan (University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1997, p. 29).

6. In Men of Mathematics, Eric Temple Bell described Cantor as being "of pure Jewish descent on both sides," although both parents were baptized.  In a 1971 article entitled "Towards a Biography of Georg Cantor," the British historian of mathematics Ivor Grattan-Guinness claimed (Annals of Science 27, pp. 345-391, 1971) to be unable to find any evidence of Jewish  ancestry (although he conceded that Cantor's wife, Vally Guttmann, was Jewish).   However, a letter written by Georg Cantor to Paul Tannery in 1896 (Paul Tannery, Memoires Scientifique 13 Correspondance, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1934, p. 306) explicitly acknowledges that Cantor's paternal grandparents were members of the Sephardic Jewish community of Copenhagen.  Specifically, Cantor states in describing his father: "Er ist aber in Kopenhagen geboren, von israelitischen Eltern, die der dortigen portugisischen Judengemeinde..."  ("He was born in Copenhagen of Jewish parents from the local Portuguese-Jewish community.")  In a recent book, The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity (Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 2000, pp. 94, 144), Amir Aczel provides new evidence concerning the ancestry of Cantor's mother in the form of  an excerpt from a  letter that was written by Georg Cantor's brother Ludwig to their mother [reproduced in its entirety, but in French translation from the original German, by Nathalie Charraud in her book Infini et Inconscient: Essai sur Georg Cantor (Anthropos - Economica, Paris, 1994, p. 8)].  This letter begins [in the original German, a fragment of which appears in Georg Cantor: 1845-1918, by Walter Purkert and Hans Joachim Ilgauds (Birkhäuser, Basel, 1987, p. 15)]: "Mögen wir zehnmal von Juden abstammen und ich im Princip noch so sehr für Gleichberechtigung der Hebräer sein, im socialen Leben sind mir Christen lieber ..."  The translation of this sentence is: "We may be descended from Jews ten times over and I (may be) in principle ever so much for the equal rights of the Hebrews, (but) in social life I prefer Christians...," or equivalently: "Even though we are descended from Jews ten times over and I am in principle ever so much for the equal rights of the Hebrews, in social life I still prefer Christians..."   Charraud renders the (complete) sentence in a slightly different manner as follows: "Męme si c'est dix fois vrai que nous descendons de juifs et si je suis en principe entičrement pour l'égalité des droits avec les Hébreux, dans la vie sociale je préfčre les chrétiens et je ne me sentirai jamais ŕ l'aise dans une société exclusivement juive."  (Later on in the same letter, Ludwig states: "Mais nous sommes, bien que je possčde moi-męme un nez juif, dans nos principes et nos habitudes tellement non-juifs...," which translates as: "But we are -  even though I myself possess Jewish features - so non-Jewish in our beliefs and customs..."  In other words, Ludwig is arguing that even though the family is ethnically Jewish, it is culturally non-Jewish.  What is significant about this letter, as Aczel first pointed out, is that it was written to the mother of Georg Cantor and would, therefore, have made little sense if she hadn't herself been of Jewish descent. According to Ismerjük''oket?: zsidó származású nevezetes magyarok arcképcsarnoka, by István Reményi Gyenes (Ex Libris, Budapest, 1997, pp. 132-133), Cantor's maternal great uncle (i.e., the brother of his maternal grandfather), the great violin pedagogue Josef Böhm, was a Jew by birth.  [N.B.: There are now erroneous translations of the sentence: "Mögen wir zehnmal von Juden abstammen..." appearing elsewhere on the Internet.  The sentence has the basic structure "even if A and B, nevertheless C," where the  enumeration of A and B is clearly intended to mitigate the expression of prejudice in C, i.e., the term "even if" is employed in the sense of "even though."  These other translations attempt to render the sentence: "Even if it were the case A and even though it is the case B, nevertheless C."  Since the term "Mögen" (which generates the "even if" expression) appears only once in the original German, it must  assume the same meaning in both cases if it is distributed over A and B in translation (i.e., if the sentence is rendered: "Even if A and even if B, nevertheless C.").  Furthermore, in our translation of the sentence, we gave the word "zehnmal" its literal meaning, viz., "ten times," which, of course,  does not make literal sense when used to modify the term "descended from."  It is fairly clear that the word is employed in this context to signify "overwhelmingly" or "completely"; perhaps the best translation of the word in this context is "one thousand percent."  From that standpoint, even if the "we" in the sentence was somehow intended to refer to the Cantor children only (and not to their mother, to whom the letter is addressed), it would still imply that she was "descended from Jews."] 
 
7. Jewish mother (née Syma Meyerowitz).

8. According to the  obituary notice for Jesse Douglas published in the October 8, 1965 edition of The New York Herald Tribune, he died at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and his funeral was held the following day at the "The Riverside" (the largest exclusively Jewish funeral chapel in New York City).  Douglas, who was the first recipient of a Fields Medal, was born in New York City and  educated at the City College of New York and at Columbia University.  His parents, Louis and Sarah (née Kommel) Douglas, were Jewish immigrants from Russia.  The death notice lists a brother, Dr. Harold Douglas, and a sister, Pearl Schweizer, among his survivors.  Dr. Harold Douglas maintained medical offices at Beth Israel Medical Center in lower Manhattan.
 
9. Jewish father.  In his book Indiscrete Thoughts (Birkhäuser, Boston, 1997, pp. 7-8), Gian-Carlo Rota states that William Feller's real name "was neither William nor Feller...He was named Willibold by his Catholic mother in Croatia...his original last name was a Slavic tongue twister, which he changed while still a student."  Actually, his name was always "Vilim (William or Willy) Feller."  According to a Croatian language article by Stella Fatović-Ferenčić and Jasenka Ferber-Bogdan, Feller's father was born Eugen Viktor Feller in Lemberg, Poland in 1871; see "Ljekarnik Eugen Viktor Feller" (MEDICUS, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1997, pp. 277-283).  According to a letter contained in the papers of the mathematician Louis Mordell, William Feller "lost his post in Kiel due to a father of non-Aryan descent."  See: http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0275%2FMordell%2F23.4.  The mathematician A.A. Fraenkel, who was Feller's mentor at Kiel, states in his memoirs (Lebenskreise: Aus den Erinnerungen eines jüdischen Mathematikers, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart, 1967, pp. 154-155) that Feller was dismissed from his position there in 1933 due to "'nichtarischen' Ursprung" ("non-Aryan" origins).  In the 1933 Nazi purge of the German civil service, "non-Aryan" virtually always meant Jewish.

10. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
11. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.  See A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century, by Masha Gessen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2009, p.108).

12. According to a 2001 memoir in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society  (Vol. 38, No. 4, 2001, pp. 389-408) written by the prominent mathematician Pierre Cartier, Grothendieck's father was a Russian Jew surnamed Shapiro and his mother a German Jewish woman named Hanka Grothendieck.  Cartier, a close acquaintance of Grothendieck, states: "what I know of his life comes from Grothendieck himself."  Thomas Drucker's earlier account in Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists, edited by Emily McMurray (Gale Research, Detroit, 1995, pp. 821-823) states that Grothendieck's father was a Russian Jew named Morris Shapiro and that the name "Grothendieck" was not that of his mother, but rather that of a governess who cared for him in Germany between 1929 and 1939.  "In the latter year, his mother took him to France, where he learned for the first time that he was Jewish by ancestry."  The source cited for this account is the mathematician and Grothendieck biographer Colin McLarty, who has described it as "one version that Grothendieck has given."  The most recent account, by Allyn Jackson in Notices of the American Mathematical Society (Vol. 51, No. 9, 2004, pp. 1039-1040): http://www.ams.org/notices/200409/fea-grothendieck-part1.pdf) states that Grothendieck's father was a Russian Jew whose original name may have been Alexander Shapiro, but who later assumed the name Alexander (Sascha) Tanaroff, and that his mother was Johanna (Hanka) Grothendieck, a German Lutheran from Hamburg.  This information is attributed to another Grothendieck biographer, Winfried Scharlau of the Universität Münster.  As Jackson notes: "many of the details about Grothendieck's family background and early life are sketchy or unknown."  According to all three accounts, however, Grothendieck's father was Jewish and was deported and murdered at Auschwitz, and Grothendieck himself was sheltered (along with several thousand other Jews) in the French Protestant village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in south-central France.  (According to Yad Vashem, an Alexandre Tanaroff was indeed deported from Drancy to Auschwitz on 14 August 1942.)

13. Jewish mother, half-Jewish father.  Hensel's paternal grandmother was the pianist and composer Fanny Mendelssohn.  His maternal grandparents were Jacob and Fanny von Adelson.  Fanny von Adelson was the daughter of a Königsberg rabbi.

14. Jewish father, Protestant mother. See http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Hopf.html.

15. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see Courant, by Constance Reid (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1976, p. 153).

16. Private communication from a longtime, close personal acquaintance of Kuratowski, subsequently confirmed in Polish-Jewish genealogical records, which contain the record of Kuratowski's parents' marriage.  See 1889  Warsaw marriage record of Marek Kuratow and Regina  Keiserstein (Kajzersztajn) (whose family names were later Polonized to "Kuratowski" and "Karzewska") in JRI-Poland (Jewish Records Indexing - Poland): http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Poland.

17. Alfred Lotka was born in 1880 in Lemberg, Austria-Poland to parents who were missionaries associated with the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews.   Many of these missionaries, including Lotka's father, were converted Jews themselves.  In his History of the  London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews (London, 1908), W. T. Gidney describes Jacob Lotka (the father of Alfred Lotka) as a "Polish Israelite" (p. 354) and as a "Hebrew Christian" (p. 614).   Jacob (also known as Jacques) Lotka headed the Society's station in Lemberg in the years 1873-1881 and later undertook missions to Jewish communities in Persia, Russia, and Hungary. No information is available to us currently concerning the mother of Alfred Lotka.

18. See History of Mathematics, Vol. 6: Golden Years of Moscow Mathematics, edited by Smilka Zdravkovska and Peter L. Duren (American Mathematical Society and London Mathematical Society, 1993, p. 214).  See also http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_m.htm.  The first reference lists Manin among "some ten Jews (or half-Jews) who entered [Mekh-Mat at Moscow State University] in 1953."  Manin's father was not Jewish.

19. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.  See "Max Newman: Mathematician, Codebreaker and Computer Pioneer," by William Newman in Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers, edited by B. Jack Copeland (Oxford, Oxford and New York, 2006, p. 180). A longer (unpublished) version of this article describes the father of Max Newman as "a Jewish immigrant."

20. Jewish mother (née Fanya Koriman).


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