George David Birkhoff

George David Birkhoff (March 21, 1884 – November 12, 1944) was an American mathematician best known for what is now called the ergodic theorem. Birkhoff was one of the most important leaders in American mathematics in his generation, and during his time he was considered by many to be the preeminent American mathematician.[1]

George David Birkhoff
Born(1884-03-21)March 21, 1884
DiedNovember 12, 1944(1944-11-12) (aged 60)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materHarvard University
University of Chicago
Known forErgodic theorem
Birkhoff's axioms
AwardsBôcher Memorial Prize (1923)
Newcomb Cleveland Prize (1926)
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics
InstitutionsHarvard University
Yale University
Princeton University
Radcliffe College
Doctoral advisorE. H. Moore
Doctoral studentsClarence Adams
Raymond Brink
Robert D. Carmichael
Bernard Koopman
Rudolph Langer
Charles Morrey
Marston Morse
G. Baley Price
I. M. Sheffer
Marshall H. Stone
Joseph L. Walsh
Hassler Whitney
David Widder
Kenneth Williams

The George D. Birkhoff House, his residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.


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