Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Birkhoff, George David (1884–1944)

David Birkhoff
George Birkhoff is the foremost American mathematician of the early 20th century and the first prominent dynamicist in the New World. He is known for his work on linear differential equations and difference equations, and was also deeply interested in and made contributions to the analysis of dynamical systems, celestial mechanics, the four-color map problem, and function spaces. Although a geometer at heart, he discovered new symbolic solution methods. He saw beyond the theory of oscillations, created a rigorous theory of ergodic behavior, and foresaw dynamical models for chaos. In addition he wrote on the foundations of relativity and quantum mechanics and on art and music, e.g., Aesthetic Measure (1933).

Related category