In the 20th century, mathematics grew generalized and abstract, largely abandoning the notion of axioms as “self-evident truths.” As a result of it, hundreds of specialized fields and areas of study developed, including group theory, knot theory, topology, graph theory, functional analysis, singularity theory, catastrophe theory, model theory, game theory, complexity theory, and many others.
Thus the mathematics profession became a significant one, attracting thousands of new Ph.D.s annually and jobs in both teaching and industry. But who were the 20th century’s greatest mathematicians? Continue reading our post on the top 10 mathematicians in 20th century.
10. John Horton Conway
In 1970, Conway developed the ‘Game of Life’ and its rules, which illustrate automation in which cells develop and expand in a grid. Scientists, particularly computer scientists, are becoming very interested in this “cellular automation.”
Conway, one of the famous mathematicians, also developed ideas such as the great antiprism, surreal numbers, and mathematical games, making significant contributions to group theory, number theory, game theory, and geometry.
The 20th century saw the birth, life, and creation of a sizable number of the greatest brains in mathematics. The world can move quickly and evolve every day because of the advancements in maths and information technology.
9. Alan Turing
Computer Scientist and Cryptanalyst Alan Turing is one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century. Having worked in the Government Code and Cypher School in Britain during the second world war, he made significant discoveries and created ground breaking methods of code breaking that would eventually aid in cracking the German Enigma Encryptions.
Undoubtedly affecting the outcome of the war, or at least the time-scale. After the end of the war he invested his time in computing. Having come up with idea of a computing style machine before the war, he is one of the first true computer scientists.
Furthermore, he wrote a range of brilliant papers on the subject of computing that are still relevant today, notably on Artificial Intelligence, on which he developed the Turing test which is still used to evaluate a computers ‘intelligence’.
Remarkably, he began in 1948 working with D. G. Champernowne, an undergraduate acquaintance on a computer chess program for a machine not yet in existence. He would play the ‘part’ of the machine in testing such programs.
8. Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen resolved one of the 23 difficulties Hilbert posed by demonstrating that the Cantor’s continuum hypothesis, or the conceivable sizes of infinite sets, may both be true and false.
Modern mathematicians now have to determine whether their results depend on this specific premise as a result of this significant discovery, which opened up a whole new universe of mathematics. The name given to the theory is ‘Continuum Hypothesis’.
7. Alexander Grothendieck
Weil’s successor, Alexander Grothendieck was an influential and beloved mathematician in the 20th century. He developed a new language in 1950, opening us new perspectives on mathematical structures and allowing us to tackle issues in number theory, basic physics, and geometry.
The “theory of topoi” is of crucial relevance to mathematical logic, while the “theory of schemed” contributed to the resolution of some Weil’s number theory conjectures. In addition, Grothendieck provided an algebraic formulation of the fundamental group of a curve and a demonstration of the Riemann-Roch theorem.
6. Andre Weil
Another European immigrant who made a significant contribution to modern mathematics is Andre Weil. We were able to connect algebra, topology, number theory, and geometry thanks to his theorems.
Additionally, Weil organised the clandestine group of French mathematicians working under the pen name Nicolas Bourbaki and gave us a great deal of assistance with math problems in the numerous books on mathematics from the 20th century.
Grothendieck succeeded this mathematician as his heir.
5. Claude Shannon
Claude Shannon, an American mathematician is the inventor of information theory. He ignited the twentieth-century digital revolution. In 1937, he contributed to the development of the digital circuit and worked on Boolean algebra. In 1948, he created the information theory and the exposition of communication. So he is definitely one of the famous 20th century mathematicians.
4. John von Neumann
The whole focus of mathematics as a science shifted to America in the 1930s and 1940s when the anti-Jewish Nazi dictatorship came to power. Many of the top mathematicians in Europe at this time, including Einstein and Godel, made the decision to immigrate to the United States. John von Neumann was one of these leading authorities in the field of mathematics.
In addition to mathematics, Neumann also made significant contributions to nuclear physics and quantum theory. One of the most well-liked and brilliant mathematicians of the 20th century, he contributed to the Manhattan Project and the development of the hydrogen bomb.
In the end, he developed a design model for a digital computer that uses a processor unit and a separate storage structure for data and instructions.
3. David Hilbert
Hilbert gave one of the most well-known lectures in the history of mathematics in 1900 at the Sorbonne in Paris. The 23 unresolved mathematical puzzles are referred to as the “Hilbert problems” by German mathematician David Hilbert. At this time, the objectives for 20th-century mathematics were established, offering direction to experts in all areas of mathematics.
Currently, 12 out of the 23 issues remain to be worked on, and 10 of them have been completely solved.This mathematician used an axiomatic method but had a very different approach. He was a well-known figure in the society and the originator of many theorems and mathematical ideas.
2. G.H. Hardy
G.H. Hardy was a mentor to the prominent Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Besides he made contributions to number theory and mathematical analysis. His essay on mathematics, A Mathematician’s Apology, is also popular. He also left his imprint on biology by developing the Hardy-Weinberg principle, a foundational idea in population genetics.
The British mathematician and his Indian protégé, Srinivasa Ramanujan are two of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century.
1. Srinivasa Ramanujan
Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in 1887 and passed away in 1920. Numerous experts regard his work on mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions as some of the most outstanding in the field.
The Riemann hypothesis from the previous century was the first problem Ramanujan and G.H. Hardy tried to answer, but they were unsuccessful. Ramanujan is one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, whereas Hardy is famous for modernizing British mathematics.
Some people avoid studying mathematics, yet many well-known mathematicians had a passion for numbers throughout history. They sought ways to comprehend the world through the lens of mathematics, and their discoveries have significantly impacted future generations. Our list of prominent mathematicians and their key findings can encourage many people to explore this logically fascinating subject.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. Who is the Father of Mathematics?
The renowned Greek mathematician and philosopher Archimedes is the “Father of Mathematics.”
Q2. Who is the Founder of Modern Mathematics?
René Descartes, sometimes known as Cartesius, was a well-known French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist who lived from March 31, 1596, to February 11, 1650.
He is one of the most significant and influential intellectuals of modern times, known as the “Founder of Modern Philosophy” and the “Father of Modern Mathematics.”
Q3. Who is the Founder of Mathematics?
We refer to Pythagoras of Samos as the first mathematician. Despite being a pivotal role in the growth of mathematics, we know very little about his mathematical accomplishments.