Jesse Douglas | |
---|---|

Douglas in c. 1932 | |

Born | |

Died | September 7, 1965 68) New York City, New York, United States | (aged

Alma mater | City College of New York Columbia University |

Known for | Solution to Plateau's problem |

Spouse(s) | Jessie Nayler (m. 1940–1955) |

Children | Lewis Philip Douglas |

Awards | Fields Medal (1936) Bôcher Memorial Prize (1943) |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Calculus of variations Differential geometry |

Institutions | City College of New York MIT |

Doctoral advisor | Edward Kasner |

**Jesse Douglas** (3 July 1897 – 7 September 1965) was an American mathematician and Fields Medalist known for his general solution to Plateau's problem.

He was born to a Jewish family^{ [1] } in New York City, the son of Sarah (née Kommel) and Louis Douglas. He attended City College of New York as an undergraduate, graduating with honors in Mathematics in 1916. He then moved to Columbia University as a graduate student, obtaining a PhD in mathematics in 1920.^{ [2] }

Douglas was one of two winners of the first Fields Medals, awarded in 1936. He was honored for solving, in 1930, the problem of Plateau, which asks whether a minimal surface exists for a given boundary. The problem, open since 1760 when Lagrange raised it, is part of the calculus of variations and is also known as the * soap bubble problem*. Douglas also made significant contributions to the inverse problem of the calculus of variations. The American Mathematical Society awarded him the Bôcher Memorial Prize in 1943.

Douglas later became a full professor at the City College of New York (CCNY), where he taught until his death. At the time CCNY only offered undergraduate degrees and Professor Douglas taught the advanced calculus course. Sophomores (and freshmen with advanced placement) were privileged to get their introduction to real analysis from a Fields medalist.

- Douglas, Jesse (1931). "Solution of the problem of Plateau".
*Trans. Amer. Math. Soc*.**33**(1): 263–321. doi: 10.2307/1989472 . JSTOR 1989472. - Douglas, Jesse (1939). "Green's function and the problem of Plateau".
*American Journal of Mathematics*.**61**(3): 545–589. doi:10.2307/2371314. JSTOR 2371314. PMC 1077111 . PMID 16588237. - Douglas, Jesse (1939). "The most general form of the problem of Plateau".
*American Journal of Mathematics*.**61**(3): 590–608. doi:10.2307/2371315. JSTOR 2371315. PMC 1077112 . PMID 16588238. - Douglas, Jesse (1939). "Solution of the inverse problem of the calculus of variations".
*Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences*.**25**(12): 631–637. Bibcode:1939PNAS...25..631D. doi:10.1073/pnas.25.12.631. PMC 1077987 . PMID 16588312. - Douglas, Jesse (1940). "A new special form of the linear element of a surface".
*Trans. Amer. Math. Soc*.**48**: 101–116. doi: 10.1090/s0002-9947-1940-0002242-2 . MR 0002242.

- ↑
*Peter Lax, Mathematician: An Illustrated Memoir*, by Reuben Hersh (American Mathematical Soc. 2014), page 102 - ↑ "Jesse Douglas (1897-1965)".
*www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk*.

**George Pólya** was a Hungarian mathematician. He was a professor of mathematics from 1914 to 1940 at ETH Zürich and from 1940 to 1953 at Stanford University. He made fundamental contributions to combinatorics, number theory, numerical analysis and probability theory. He is also noted for his work in heuristics and mathematics education. He has been described as one of The Martians.

In mathematics, **Plateau's problem** is to show the existence of a minimal surface with a given boundary, a problem raised by Joseph-Louis Lagrange in 1760. However, it is named after Joseph Plateau who experimented with soap films. The problem is considered part of the calculus of variations. The existence and regularity problems are part of geometric measure theory.

**Harold Calvin Marston Morse** was an American mathematician best known for his work on the *calculus of variations in the large*, a subject where he introduced the technique of differential topology now known as Morse theory. The Morse–Palais lemma, one of the key results in Morse theory, is named after him, as is the Thue–Morse sequence, an infinite binary sequence with many applications. In 1933 he was awarded the Bôcher Memorial Prize for his work in mathematical analysis.

**Ivan Morton Niven** was a Canadian-American mathematician, specializing in number theory and known for his work on Waring's problem. He worked for many years as a professor at the University of Oregon, and was president of the Mathematical Association of America. He was the author of several books on mathematics.

**Tibor Radó** was a Hungarian mathematician who moved to the United States after World War I.

**Hans Lewy** was a Jewish German born American mathematician, known for his work on partial differential equations and on the theory of functions of several complex variables.

**George Yuri Rainich** was a leading mathematical physicist in the early twentieth century.

**Nathan Jacobson** was an American mathematician.

**Phillip Augustus Griffiths IV** is an American mathematician, known for his work in the field of geometry, and in particular for the complex manifold approach to algebraic geometry. He was a major developer in particular of the theory of variation of Hodge structure in Hodge theory and moduli theory. He also worked on partial differential equations, coauthored with Shiing-Shen Chern, Robert Bryant and Robert Gardner on Exterior Differential Systems.

**Lipman "Lipa" Bers** was a Latvian-American mathematician, born in Riga, who created the theory of pseudoanalytic functions and worked on Riemann surfaces and Kleinian groups. He was also known for his work in human rights activism.

In mathematics, **geometric measure theory** (**GMT**) is the study of geometric properties of sets through measure theory. It allows mathematicians to extend tools from differential geometry to a much larger class of surfaces that are not necessarily smooth.

**Eliezer 'Leon' Ehrenpreis** was a mathematician at Temple University who proved the Malgrange–Ehrenpreis theorem, the fundamental theorem about differential operators with constant coefficients. He previously held tenured positions at Yeshiva University and at the Courant Institute at New York University.

**Otto Franz Georg Schilling** was a German-American mathematician known as one of the leading algebraists of his time.

**Lynn Harold Loomis** was an American mathematician working on analysis. Together with Hassler Whitney, he discovered the Loomis–Whitney inequality.

**Arnold Dresden** (1882–1954) was a Dutch-American mathematician in the first part of the twentieth century, known for his work in the calculus of variations and collegiate mathematics education. He was a president of the Mathematical Association of America.

**Howard Levi** was an American mathematician who worked mainly in algebra and mathematical education. Levi was very active during the educational reforms in the United States, having proposed several new courses to replace the traditional ones.

**Friederich Ignaz Mautner** (1921–1996) was an Austrian-American mathematician, known for his research on the representation theory of groups, functional analysis, and differential geometry.

**Maurice Haskell Heins** was an American mathematician, specializing in complex analysis and harmonic analysis.

**Charles Frederick Roos** was an American economist who made contributions to mathematical economics. He was one of the founders of the Econometric Society together with American economist Irving Fisher and Norwegian economist Ragnar Frisch in 1930. He served as Secretary-Treasurer during the first year of the Society and was elected as President in 1948. He was director of research of the Cowles Commission from September 1934 to January 1937.

**Max Shiffman** was an American mathematician, specializing in the calculus of variations, partial differential equations, and hydrodynamics. He was a Guggenheim Fellow for the academic year 1951–1952.

- Biography in
*Dictionary of Scientific Biography*(New York 1970–1990) - Biography in
*Encyclopædia Britannica*(Aug. 2003)

- Themistocles M. Rassias,
*The Problem of Plateau – A tribute to Jesse Douglas and Tibor Rado*(River Edge, NJ, 1992). - M. Struwe:
*Plateau's Problem and the Calculus of Variations*, ISBN 0-691-08510-2 - R. Bonnett and A. T. Fomenko:
*The Plateau Problem (Studies in the Development of Modern Mathematics)*, ISBN 2-88124-702-4 - M. Giaquinta and S. Hildebrandt: "Calculus of Variations", Volumes I and II, Springer Verlag
- Gray, Jeremy; Micallef, Mario (2008). "The Work Of Jesse Douglas On Minimal Surfaces".
*Bulletin (New Series) of the American Mathematical Society*.**45**(2): 293–302. doi: 10.1090/S0273-0979-08-01192-0 .

- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Jesse Douglas",
*MacTutor History of Mathematics archive*, University of St Andrews .

This page is based on this Wikipedia article

Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply.

Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.

Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply.

Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.