Halmos, Paul R. (Paul Richard), 1916-2006

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Paul Richard Halmos (1916-2006) is known for his work in operator theory, ergodic theory, and functional analysis, as well as his mathematical exposition and his teaching style. His major teaching positions were at the University of Chicago (1946-1960), the University of Michigan (1961-1967), Indiana University (1969-1985), and Santa Clara University (1985-1996), where he was Professor Emeritus until his death in 2006.

Halmos was born March 3, 1916, in Budapest, Hungary. He came to the United States in 1929 and attended high school in Chicago. In 1931, at the age of 15, he entered the University of Illinois, intending to study chemical engineering, and graduated three years later (1934) with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy. Halmos then entered graduate school at the University of Illinois in order to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy. After failing the oral comprehensive exam for the master’s degree, he changed the focus of his graduate studies and registered as a student in the department of mathematics. Halmos earned his doctorate in mathematics under Joseph Doob in 1938.

Following the completion of his doctorate, Halmos served as John von Neumann's assistant at the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) (1939-1942), a post that led to the publication of his first book, Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces, in 1942. After working at the IAS, Halmos taught soldiers in the Army's Specialized Training Program at Syracuse University before moving to the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan. After one year as the mathematics department chair at the University of Hawaii (1967-1968), he began a professorship at Indiana University, where he would stay until 1985, with the exception of two years spent at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1975-1977). In 1985, he moved to Santa Clara University where he worked until his retirement in 1996. In addition to these posts, Halmos held visiting appointments at the University of Montevideo, Uruguay (1951-1952), the University of Miami (1965-1966), and the University of Washington (1959), among others.

Halmos served as editor of several publications, including the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematical Monthly (1982-1986) and Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society (1958-1963). For the Van Nostrand publishing company he edited the University Series in Undergraduate Mathematics. Halmos also served as editor for the Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete series and Graduate Texts in Mathematics series published by Springer-Verlag.

He received the Steele Prize for exposition from the American Mathematical Society in 1983 and the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Mathematical Association of America in 1993. Halmos was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000, he was awarded the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics by the Mathematical Association of America, the organization’s most prestigious award for service.

From the guide to the Paul R. Halmos Papers 89-315, 2005-062, 2007-233, 2008-324. 610018592., 1916-2006, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Paul Richard Halmos is known for his work in operator theory, ergodic theory, and functional analysis, as well as his mathematical exposition and his teaching style. His major teaching positions were at the University of Chicago, Indiana University, and Santa Clara University, at which he is currently Professor Emeritus.

Halmos was born March 3, 1916 in Budapest, Hungary. He came to the United States in 1929 and attended high school in Chicago. At the age of 15 he entered the University of Illinois and graduated in 1934 with a degree in mathematics and philosophy. He then went into graduate school at the University of Illinois, earning a doctorate in mathematics under Joseph Doob in 1938. Halmos served as John Von Neumann's assistant at the Institute of Advanced Study, a post which led to the publication of his first book, Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces, in 1942. After working at the IAS, Halmos taught soldiers in the Army's Specialized Training Program at Syracuse University before moving to the University of Chicago (1946-1960), and the University of Michigan (1961-1967). After one year as the mathematics department chair at the University of Hawaii, he began a professorship at Indiana University (1968-1985). In 1985 he moved to Santa Clara University where he worked until his retirement in 1996.

From the description of Halmos, Paul Richard, papers, 1947-1988. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 55689553

Paul Richard Halmos (1916-2006) is known for his work in operator theory, ergodic theory, and functional analysis, as well as his mathematical exposition and his teaching style.

His major teaching positions were at the University of Chicago (1946-1960), the University of Michigan (1961-1967), Indiana University (1969-1985), and Santa Clara University (1985-1996), where he was Professor Emeritus until his death in 2006. Halmos served as editor of several publications, including the Mathematical Association of America's "American Mathematical Monthly" (1982-1986) and "Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society" (1958-1963). Halmos was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000, he was awarded the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics by the Mathematical Association of America, the organization's most prestigious award for service.

From the description of Halmos, Paul R., papers, 1916-2006 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 610018592

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn John Von Neumann Papers, 1912-1996, (bulk 1935-1957) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Mathematical Association of America. Mathematical Association of America records, 1916- University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Paul R. Halmos Papers 89-315, 2005-062, 2007-233, 2008-324. 610018592., 1916-2006 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Paul R. Halmos Papers 89-315, 2005-062, 2007-233, 2008-324. 610018592., 1916-2006 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957. John Von Neumann papers, 1912-1996 (bulk 1935-1957). Library of Congress
referencedIn Mathematical writing (CS 209) videorecordings, 1987 Cecil H. Green Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Knuth, Donald Ervin, 1938-. Mathematical writing (CS 209) : lectures, 1987. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn HALMOS, Paul R. Halmos, Paul R., Documentary Film Source Materials collection, 1999, 2008 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Halmos, Paul R. (Paul Richard), 1916-2006. Halmos, Paul Richard, papers, 1947-1988. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Halmos, Paul R. (Paul Richard), 1916-2006. Halmos, Paul Richard, papers, 1947-1988. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Halmos, Paul R. (Paul Richard), 1916-2006. Halmos, Paul R., papers, 1916-2006 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ambrose, Warren Arthur, 1914- person
associatedWith Ambrose, Warren Arthur, 1914- corporateBody
associatedWith American Mathematical Society corporateBody
associatedWith Boas, Ralph Philip person
associatedWith Boas, Ralph Philip corporateBody
associatedWith Doob, Joseph L. person
associatedWith Doob, Joseph L. corporateBody
associatedWith Gillman, Leonard person
associatedWith Gillman, Leonard corporateBody
associatedWith HALMOS, Paul R. person
associatedWith Halmos, Paul R. (Paul Richard), 1916-200 corporateBody
associatedWith Halmos, Paul R. (Paul Richard), 1916-2006 person
associatedWith Indiana University, Bloomington. Dept. of Mathematics corporateBody
associatedWith Knuth, Donald Ervin, 1938- person
associatedWith Mathematical Association of America corporateBody
associatedWith Mathematical Association of America. American Mathematical Monthly corporateBody
associatedWith Mathematical Intelligencer corporateBody
associatedWith Mathematical Intelligencer corporateBody
associatedWith Santa Clara University (Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Dept. of Mathematics corporateBody
associatedWith Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957 corporateBody
associatedWith Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957 person
associatedWith Willcox, Alfred B., 1925- corporateBody
associatedWith Willcox, Alfred B., 1925- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Chicago (Ill.)
Bloomington (Ind.)
Santa Clara (Calif.)
United States
Chicago (Ill.)
Budapest (Hungary)
Budapest (Hungary)
Montevideo (Uruguay)
Montevideo (Uruguay)
Bloomington (Ind.)
Santa Clara (Calif.)
United States
Subject
Ergodic theory
Mathematics
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)
Mathematics--Study and teaching
Linear algebra
Topology
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1916-03-03

Death 2006-10-02

Americans

English

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