new edition announcement

William Feller distinguished Croatian-American mathematician - first monograph


place: Zagreb, Croatia
organiser: Graphis
By the end 2011 the monograph about William Feller, a founder of Probability Theory as a scientific discipline, has been published as a bilingual, Croatian-English edition written by Darko Zubrinic, published by Graphis from Zagreb.

The book is accompanied with 109 photos, printed on 140 pp, hardcover.

The book can be ordered using:
E-mail: graphis1@inet.hr
Phone: +385 1 2332 875

William Feller (Zagreb, July 7th, 1906 - New York, January 14th, 1970), outstanding Croatian - American mathematician, born in Croatia as Vilibald Srecko Feller. As a student he simplified the name to Vilim. At the University of Zagreb studied mathematics for the first two years (i.e. the first four semesters out of eight, 1923-1925), and then continued his studies in Göttingen where he earned his doctorate in 1926 under Richard Courant. He prepared a part of his thesis already as a student in Zagreb. Professor in Kiel (Germany, 1928-1933), Copenhagen (Denmark, 1933-1934), Stockholm, and Lund (Sweden, 1934-1939). In 1938 he married Clara Nielsen.

Since 1939 lived in the USA, employed at Universities of Brown, Cornell, and since 1950 at Princeton University as a Eugen Higgins Professor of mathematics. Feller wrote the review of A.N. Kolmogorov's famous book Grundbegriffe der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung (Foundations of Probability Theory) for Zentralblatt für Mathematik in 1934. One of initiators of editing Mathematical Reviews (1939), and one of its first executive directors (1944-1945). One of the founders of Probability Theory as a scientific discipline, best known for his two volume monograph An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications, which is considered as one of the finest mathematical textbooks of the 20th century. It was translated into Russian (with foreword to Volume 1 written by Kolmogorov), Chinese, Spanish, Polish, and Hungarian. About hundred and fifty mathematical notions bear his name: Feller process, Feller transition function, Feller semigroup, Feller's property, Feller Brownian motions, Feller's test for explosions, Lindeberg-Feller condition, Feller operator, Feller potential, Feller measures, indefinite Krein-Feller differential operators, Kolmogorov-Feller equation, etc.

At the International Congress of Mathematicians held in 1958 in Edinburgh, Feller delivered a plenary talk "Some new connections between probability and classical analysis." In 1966 he was elected to the international scientific committee which had to choose candidates for the 1966 Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Moscow. Feller had 17 PhD students. Member of several national academies: former Yugoslav (now Croatian) Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, USA, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston, and of prestigeous scientific organizations: Royal Statistical Society, London, and The London Mathematical Society (honorary member). Recipient of the 1969 National Medal of Science by the president of the USA (posthumously in 1970). An asteroid was named after him in 1996: 21276 Feller (1996 TF5).

On July 17th 1953 William Feller delivered a lecture in Zagreb in Croatian language, under the title "Matematicka teorija difuzije" (Mathematical theory of diffusion). He was in touch with his relatives in Zagreb, as well as with his colleagues at the University of Zagreb. During the post WWII period Feller visited Zagreb on four occasions: in 1953, 1956, 1957 and 1958. According to Vladimir Vranic, professor of mathematics at the University of Zagreb, "not only that Vilim Feller did not hide his Croatian descent, but he was also proud of it."

(Source: CROWN)

(D.H., 11.01.2012)


 



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