Set theory mathematician Paul Cohen dies

Apr 02, 2007

Trailblazing mathematician Paul Cohen, who developed a technique known as forcing to test a hypothesis, has died in Stanford, Calif., at the age of 72.

Family members told The New York Times Cohen died March 23 of lung disease.

In the 1960s as a professor at Stanford University, he took up the challenge of set theory from the 19th century, and developed the continuum hypothesis, the question involved in establishing the sizes of infinite sets of real numbers, the report said.

As a result, Cohen received the Fields Medal for outstanding achievement from the International Mathematical Union in 1966.

Peter Sarnak, a former student of Cohen's who is a professor of mathematics at Princeton, told the Times Cohen "introduced techniques that will probably allow us to solve many other things, opening a floodgate of mathematical activity."

Cohen is survived by his wife, three sons, a sister and brother.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Local education politics 'far from dead'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hoverbike drone project for air transport takes off

1 hour ago

What happens when you cross a helicopter with a motorbike? The crew at Malloy Aeronautics has been focused on a viable answer and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support its Hoverbike project, "The ...

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

2 hours ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

2 hours ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Local education politics 'far from dead'

15 hours ago

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren't just pushing ...

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

15 hours ago

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the ...

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

16 hours ago

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

Why aren't consumers buying remanufactured products?

18 hours ago

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members ...

Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall

18 hours ago

People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

User comments : 0