Klaus Roth

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Klaus Roth
BornKlaus Friedrich Roth
(1925-10-29)29 October 1925
Breslau, Province of Lower Silesia, Weimar Germany
Died 10 November 2015(2015-11-10) (aged 90)
Inverness, Scotland
Citizenship Germany
United Kingdom
Alma mater Peterhouse, Cambridge
University College London
Known for diophantine approximation
discrepancy theory
Awards Sylvester Medal (1991)
LMS De Morgan Medal (1983)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1960)
Fields Medal (1958)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University College London
Imperial College London
Doctoral advisor Theodor Estermann

Klaus Friedrich Roth (29 October 1925 – 10 November 2015) was a German-born British mathematician known for work on diophantine approximation, the large sieve, and irregularities of distribution.


Early life

He was born in Breslau, Prussia, but was raised and educated in the UK, where his Jewish family settled in 1933. He was pupil at St Paul's School in London from 1939 to 1943 and then attended Cambridge University, graduating from Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1945. In 1946 he began research at University College London, under the supervision of Theodor Estermann. [1]


In 1952, Roth proved that subsets of the integers of positive density must contain infinitely many arithmetic progressions of length three, thus establishing the first non-trivial case of what is now known as Szemerédi's theorem. His definitive result, now known usually as the Thue–Siegel–Roth theorem, but also just Roth's theorem, dates from 1955, when he was a lecturer at University College London. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1958 on the strength of it. He became a professor at University College London in 1961, and moved to a chair at Imperial College London in 1966, a position he retained until official retirement in 1988. He then remained at Imperial College as Visiting Professor until 1996. He died in 2015 at the age of 90. [2]

The Imperial College Department of Mathematics instituted the Roth Doctoral Fellowship in his honour.



  1. Chen, William; Vaughan, Robert (2017-06-14). "Klaus Friedrich Roth. 29 October 1925 — 10 November 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 63: 487–525. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2017.0014. ISSN   0080-4606.
  2. "Klaus Roth". Chalkdust. 2015-11-10. Retrieved 2015-11-10.

Further reading