Salomon Bochner, 1899-1982

Another announcement turned up in my email the other day, this one for next week’s Bochner lecture, named for the first holder of the Edgar Odell Lovett Chair in Mathematics, Salomon Bochner: Maeda 4.16.15-3 copy Bochner has always seemed a heroic figure to me, a genuinely admirable man. When he arrived at Rice in 1968 he was already 70 years old, retired after a brilliant career at Princeton, and rather than resting on his laurels he created a lasting legacy here as well. Solomon Bochner   I hardly know how to begin describing Bochner’s contributions to the intellectual life of the campus, which included prominently the founding of Scientia, so I will offer this piece from an issue of The Flyleaf that was dedicated to Bochner, written by Al Van Helden of the History Department (Click on it a couple of times to enlarge.) New Bochner flyleaf 1 New Bochner flyleaf 2 As the article mentions, Professor Bochner’s papers are housed in the Woodson. The catalogue includes a brief biography. (Another, longer piece about him is here.) You really should take a look at it. He was a remarkable man, a great mathematician who led a truly rich life dedicated to his family and to learning. He would have enjoyed this year’s talk. New Bochner lecture 1981 Bonus: It finally stopped raining. Now, this. L1010604

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8 Responses to Salomon Bochner, 1899-1982

  1. Keith Cooper says:

    Dr. Bochner was a wonderful man and inspiring teacher. I had Multivariate Calculus from him in 1976. I encountered him years later in a completely different context and he recognized two of us by name from his class.

  2. loki_the_bubba says:

    Just looked up from reading this here in my home library and my eyes went instantly to my copy of “The Role of Mathematics in the Rise of Science”. I guess I’ll have to read it again.

  3. Steve Lukingbeal says:

    He must have been born before 1914 if he was already 70 years old when he arrived at Rice in 1968.

  4. In my last semester at Rice, I was taking a graduate-level course in signal theory. At one point, we were completely stuck — there was no way to get the result we needed with the information we had. Then Dr. Parks whipped out Bochner’s Theorem, which was exactly the bridge we needed.

  5. I took a course from him in the fall of 1975. It was excellent even if Dr Bochner seemed older. Now he does not seem so old.

  6. Rebecca Izen says:

    Those oak catkins on campus are also infested with very tiny wasps and parasitoids!

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