# Famous Mathematicians Of The 20th Century

*Right Icon*This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Discover the most famous 20th century mathematicians including Alexander Grothendieck, Andre Weil, Kurt Godel, Alan Turing, Hermann Weyl, John von Neumann and many more. This list of mathematicians born in 20th century includes people from USA, France, UK, India, France, Russia and many more countries.

Vote for Your Favourite Mathematicians Of The 20th Century

1

Alan Turing(English Mathematician Who is Considered as the Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence)

**Birthdate: **June 23, 1912

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Maida Vale, London, England

**Died: **June 7, 1954

Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician. During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years. The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.

**Birthdate: **December 22, 1887

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Erode

**Died: **April 26, 1920

A self-taught genius Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan is known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. Born into a humble family, the celebrated mathematician struggled with poverty but still managed to publish first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. Later, his collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy proved very productive.

**Birthdate: **June 13, 1928

**Sun Sign: **Gemini

**Birthplace: **Bluefield, West Virginia, United States

**Died: **May 23, 2015

The inspiration behind the movie **A Beautiful Mind**, John F. Nash was a legendary mathematician whose work in the area of game theory earned him the **Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences**. In his later years, he was riddled with mental illness. He later died in a car crash.

4

John von Neumann(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)

**Birthdate: **December 28, 1903

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Budapest, Hungary

**Died: **February 8, 1957

Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the **U.S. Atomic Energy Commission**.

5

Kurt Gödel(Mathematician, Philosopher and One of the Most Significant Logicians in History)

**Birthdate: **April 28, 1906

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Brno, Czech Republic

**Died: **January 14, 1978

Hailed as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, Kurt Gödel was Austrian-born American mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who earned international stardom for his *incompleteness theorem*. Also credited with developing a technique called *Gödel numbering*, he later started working on *Mathematical Platonism, *a philosophical theory that failed to attract wide acceptance.

6

G. H. Hardy(English Mathematician Known for His Contributions in Number Theory and Mathematical Analysis)

**Birthdate: **February 7, 1877

**Sun Sign: **Aquarius

**Birthplace: **Cranleigh, England

**Died: **December 1, 1947

English mathematician G. H. Hardy is best recognised for his work and achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis, and also as mentor of distinguished Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. He is noted for his essay on mathematics titled *A Mathematician's Apology*. He also made his mark in biology formulating a basic principle of population genetics called *Hardy–Weinberg principle*.

**Birthdate: **March 26, 1913

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Budapest, Austria-Hungary

**Died: **September 20, 1996

Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős spent most of his childhood at home, due to his mother’s overprotectiveness after his sisters died of scarlet fever. Known for his eccentricity, he used his own vocabulary. His contributions include the *Ramsey theory*, and he skipped many university job offers to continue working independently.

8

Emmy Noether(German Mathematician Who Made Many Important Contributions to Abstract Algebra)

**Birthdate: **March 23, 1882

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany

**Died: **April 14, 1935

Emmy Noether was a German mathematician best remembered for her contributions to abstract algebra. She is credited with discovering *Noether's theorem*, which is regarded as a fundamental theorem in mathematical physics. One of the most important mathematicians of her generation and **the most important woman in mathematics history**, Emmy Noether developed theories of algebras, fields, and rings.

9

Benoit Mandelbrot(American Mathematician and Polymath Best Known for Popularizing the Concept of Fractal Geometry)

**Birthdate: **November 20, 1924

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Warsaw, Poland

**Died: **October 14, 2010

Noted mathematician and polymath, Benoit B. Mandelbrot is perhaps best known for his work on *fractal*. He not only coined the term, but also used computer-constructed images to illustrate the mathematical definition. Also credited with the discovery of *Mandelbrot set* and *Mandelbrot law, *he established that even those things which were apparently chaotic or rough had a "degree of order".

10

John Horton Conway(British Mathematician Known for His Contributions to 'Combinatorial Game Theory (CGT)')

**Birthdate: **December 26, 1937

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Liverpool, England

**Died: **April 11, 2020

Remembered as versatile mathematician, game wizard and polymath, John Horton Conway had limitless curiosity, which matched with his scientific originality. Although he is best known for devising the cellular automation called *Game of Life, *he made significant contributions to group theory, number theory, algebra, geometric topology, theoretical physics, combinatorial game theory and geometry. Conway published many outstanding papers in these fields.

11

Henri Poincare(French Polymath and Mathematician Known as One of the Founders of the 'Field of Topology')

**Birthdate: **April 29, 1854

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Nancy, France

**Died: **July 17, 1912

Known as *The Last Universalist *for his expertise in a variety of domains, French mathematician Henri Poincare conducted research that formed the basis of the modern chaos theory. Apart from his work on relativity and the three-body problem, he also laid the foundation of algebraic topology.

**Birthdate: **March 28, 1928

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Berlin, Germany

**Died: **November 13, 2014

Alexander Grothendieck was a 20th-century mathematician who was a leading figure in the creation of modern algebraic geometry. With his so-called "relative" perspective, he revolutionized many areas of pure mathematics. During his later career, he became a professor at the University of Montpellier. He is counted among the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century.

13

Katherine Johnson(Mathematician and One of the First African-American Women to Work as a NASA Scientist)

**Birthdate: **August 26, 1918

**Sun Sign: **Virgo

**Birthplace: **White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, United States

**Died: **February 24, 2020

Katherine Johnson was a physicist and mathematician, remembered as the first African-American female **NASA** scientist. Her calculations helped launch the space missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She was crucial to the **Apollo **program and won a **Congressional Gold Medal** and a **Presidential Medal of Freedom** for her achievements.

**Birthdate: **April 11, 1953

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Cambridge

English mathematician Sir Andrew John Wiles, a **Royal Society** Research Professor at the **University of Oxford**, is best known for proving the *modularity theorem* for semistable elliptic curves, thereby proving *Fermat's Last Theorem* for which he was awarded the *Abel Prize* and the *Copley Medal* by the **Royal Society**. He also** **proved the main conjecture of *Iwasawa theory*.

**Birthdate: **April 26, 1889

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Vienna, Austria

**Died: **April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

**Birthdate: **April 9, 1921

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Hampton, Virginia, United States

**Died: **February 11, 2005

American mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson went down in history as the first African-American woman to work as a **NASA **engineer. Initially a math teacher, she later joined** NACA** under Dorothy Vaughan and contributed to countless American space programs at a time when racial segregation was the norm.

17

Mileva Marić(Serbian Physicist, Mathematician and the First Wife of Albert Einstein)

**Birthdate: **December 19, 1875

**Sun Sign: **Sagittarius

**Birthplace: **Titel, Serbia

**Died: **August 4, 1948

Serbian physicist/mathematician Mileva Marić was the first wife of Albert Einstein and the second lady to complete the full program at the mathematics and physics department of **Zürich Polytechnic**. Experts still debate over whether she had helped Einstein in his initial research. Einstein transferred his **Nobel Prize** money to her.

18

Maryam Mirzakhani(First Iranian to Be Honored With the ‘Fields Medal’, the Most Prestigious Award in Mathematics)

**Birthdate: **May 12, 1977

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Tehran, Iran

**Died: **July 14, 2017

Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician best remembered for her innovative methods and research involving different branches of mathematics like symplectic geometry and ergodic theory. On 13 August 2014, she became the first Iranian and only woman to date to be honored with the prestigious **Fields Medal***.* Maryam Mirzakhani died of breast cancer when she was 40 years old.

19

Roger Penrose(English Mathematician, Mathematical Physicist and Winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics)

**Birthdate: **August 8, 1931

**Sun Sign: **Leo

**Birthplace: **Colchester, England

Roger Penrose’s contribution to the research related to the black hole and general relativity earned him the **Nobel Prize in Physics** in 2020. The **Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics** at **Oxford**, Roger is also a fellow of **Wadham College**, **St John's College** of **Cambridge**, and **University College London**.

**Birthdate: **November 8, 1848

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Wismar, Germany

**Died: **July 26, 1925

**Birthdate: **April 9, 1928

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **New York, Manhattan

While he grew up to be a **Harvard **math professor, that didn’t stop Tom Lehrer from pursuing his childhood love for music. He gained fame as a satirical composer, with songs such as *So Long, Mom, I’m Off to Drop the Bomb* and *That Was The Year That Was*.

**Birthdate: **November 4, 1929

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Bangalore

**Died: **April 21, 2013

A child prodigy who was never formally educated, Shakuntala Devi became a mathematical genius earning the title of **Human Computer** for her exceptional calculating abilities. The Indian genius was also an astrologer and a gifted writer who authored books on maths, astrology, homosexuality in India and a crime thriller novel.

23

Claude Shannon(Mathematician, Engineer & Cryptographer Known as a 'Father of Information Theory')

**Birthdate: **April 30, 1916

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Petoskey, Michigan, United States

**Died: **February 24, 2001

Claude Shannon was an electrical engineer, mathematician, and cryptographer. He is credited with publishing the article *A Mathematical Theory of Communication* which gave rise to the field of information theory. Hence, Shannon is considered the *father of information theory.* He is also credited with founding digital circuit design theory. During *World War II*, he contributed to the field of cryptanalysis.

**Birthdate: **July 31, 1926

**Sun Sign: **Leo

**Birthplace: **Chicago, Illinois, United States

**Died: **March 13, 2016

25

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar(Astrophysicist Known for his 'Theoritical Studies of the Physical processes of importance to the Structure and Evolution of the Stars')

**Birthdate: **October 19, 1910

**Sun Sign: **Libra

**Birthplace: **Lahore, Pakistan

**Died: **August 21, 1995

Remembered for his varied contribution to astrophysics, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is perhaps best known for his work on the evolution of massive stars. Today known as *Chandrasekhar limit*, it contributed to final understanding of supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes. A prolific writer, he also did significant work on energy transfer by radiation in stellar atmospheres and convection on solar surface.

26

Max Born(German Physicist Who Won Nobel Prize for His Contribution to Quantum Mechanics)

**Birthdate: **December 11, 1882

**Sun Sign: **Sagittarius

**Birthplace: **Wrocław, Poland

**Died: **January 5, 1970

From being home-schooled for being too sickly to attend school, Max Born went on to win the **Nobel Prize in Physics** for his contribution to quantum mechanics. Being a Jew, with the rise of the **Nazi **power, he lost his professorship at the **University of Göttingen**, and moved to Cambridge.

**Birthdate: **June 26, 1824

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Belfast

**Died: **December 17, 1907

Lord Kelvin was a British mathematical physicist and engineer. He studied at the Glasgow University and proceeded to teach there as well. Besides his academic career, he also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1883. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honor.

**Birthdate: **1938 AD

**Birthplace: **Newton

The son of a shoe factory owner, mathematician-turned-hedge-fund-manager James Harris Simons studied math at **MIT** and helped the U.S. break codes during the Vietnam War. He later founded his own hedge fund firm, **Renaissance Technologies**. He supports autism research and funds **Math for America**. In 2021, he was America’s 23rd-richest person.

**Birthdate: **November 9, 1885

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Elmshorn, Germany

**Died: **December 8, 1955

Hermann Klaus Hugo Wey is remembered for his contribution to both physics and math. He was one of the first scientists to think of merging the concepts of electromagnetism and relativity. He moved from the **University of Göttingen** to **Princeton** in the wake of the rise of the **Nazi** reign.

**Birthdate: **December 15, 1923

**Sun Sign: **Sagittarius

**Birthplace: **Crowthorne, England

**Died: **February 28, 2020

Freeman Dyson was a British-American theoretical and mathematical physicist, mathematician, and statistician. He made major contributions in the fields of quantum field theory, astrophysics, random matrices, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics. He originated the concept that went on to be known as Dyson's transform. He received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1986.

31

Donald Knuth(Mathematician and Computer Scientist Known for His Multivolume Series of Books “The Art of Computer Programming”)

**Birthdate: **January 10, 1938

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Mathematician and computer scientist Donald Ervin Knuth is best known for his contribution to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms. Also the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system as well as the WEB and CWEB computer programming systems, he has published twenty books, most significant among them being *The Art of Computer Programming*.

**Birthdate: **November 8, 1914

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Portland, Oregon, United States

**Died: **May 13, 2005

Mathematician George Dantzig, known for his research on linear programming, was the first to develop the *simplex method*. The **National Medal of Science **winner was the son of mathematician and linguist Tobias Dantzig. He was associated with **RAND Corporation** and also taught computer science and operations research at **Stanford**.

33

Marvin Minsky(Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher)

**Birthdate: **August 9, 1927

**Sun Sign: **Leo

**Birthplace: **New York City

**Died: **January 24, 2016

34

Edmund Husserl(German Philosopher, Mathematician and Founder of Phenomenology)

**Birthdate: **April 8, 1859

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Prostějov, Czechia

**Died: **April 27, 1938

Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of Moravian origin. He established the school of phenomenology. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig and worked as an assistant to mathematician Karl Weierstrass. He later became a professor of philosophy and taught for several years. He is considered a major figure in 20th-century philosophy.

**Birthdate: **October 26, 1965

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Los Angeles, California, United States

Apart from being the MD of **Thiel Capital**, mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein is also a researcher at **Oxford**. The **Harvard** alumnus had quit academia for 20 years before he returned again. He coined the term “intellectual dark web” and works on topics such as gauge theory, risk management, and immigration.

**Birthdate: **August 8, 1974

**Sun Sign: **Leo

**Birthplace: **Hamilton, Canada

37

John McCarthy(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Engineer, University teacher)

**Birthdate: **September 4, 1927

**Sun Sign: **Virgo

**Birthplace: **Boston

**Died: **October 24, 2011

**Birthdate: **November 26, 1894

**Sun Sign: **Sagittarius

**Birthplace: **Columbia, Missouri, United States

**Died: **March 18, 1964

39

Michael Atiyah(British-Lebanese Mathematician Who was the Co-Founder of 'Topological K-Theory')

**Birthdate: **April 22, 1929

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **London, England, United Kingdom

**Died: **January 11, 2019

Recipient of *Fields Medal* and *Abel Prize*, British-Lebanese mathematician Michael Atiyah emerged as a leading figure in the UK mathematics during the latter half of the 20th century. He specialised in geometry and made remarkable contributions in the fields of geometry, theoretical physics, topology and global analysis, and is best known for proving the *Atiyah–Singer index theorem* with Isadore Singer.

40

Willard Van Orman Quine(Mathematician, Analytic philosopher, Philosopher of language, Epistemologist, Philosopher of science, University teacher, Professor, Philosopher)

**Birthdate: **June 25, 1908

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Akron

**Died: **December 25, 2000

41

Dorothy Vaughan(American Mathematician, Human Computer and the First African-American to Receive Promotion as Supervisor in NASA)

**Birthdate: **September 20, 1910

**Sun Sign: **Virgo

**Birthplace: **Kansas City, Missouri, United States

**Died: **November 10, 2008

American mathematician Dorothy Vaughan was also known as a "human computer." Initially a math teacher, she became the first African-American supervisor of **NACA**, later part of **NASA**, at a time when racial segregation was rampant in the U.S. Her contribution to the early American space programs is invaluable.

**Birthdate: **October 5, 1973

**Sun Sign: **Libra

**Birthplace: **Brive-la-Gaillarde

*Fields Medal-*winning French politician and mathematician Cédric Villani works mainly on mathematical physics, partial differential equations and Riemannian geometry. He serves as Member of the National Assembly for Essonne's 5th constituency, after being elected during the 2017 legislative election. He was a member of **La République En Marche!** but defected later to form the political party **Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity**.

43

Fred Hoyle(English Astronomer Who Formulated the Theory of 'Stellar Nucleosynthesis')

**Birthdate: **June 24, 1915

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Bingley, England

**Died: **August 20, 2001

Fred Hoyle was an English astronomer known for his theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. He spent most of his career at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge, serving as its director for six years. He was also an author of science fiction novels, short stories, and plays and appeared in a series of radio talks on astronomy for the BBC.

**Birthdate: **November 17, 1902

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Budapest, Hungary

**Died: **January 1, 1995

One of the “Martians,” or eminent Hungarian scientists who had migrated to the U.S., Eugene Wigner won a **Nobel Prize** for his work on nuclear physics and *the law of conservation of parity* in particular. He taught at **Princeton **and **Wisconsin **and was also associated with the **Manhattan Project**.

**Birthdate: **December 11, 1987

**Sun Sign: **Sagittarius

**Birthplace: **Dresden

**Birthdate: **February 4, 1921

**Sun Sign: **Aquarius

**Birthplace: **Baku, Azerbaijan

**Died: **September 6, 2017

47

J.B.S. Haldane(British Scientist Who Developed the Mathematical Theory of Population Genetics and One of the Founders of ‘Neo-Darwinism’)

**Birthdate: **November 5, 1892

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Oxford, England

**Died: **December 1, 1964

British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane is remembered for his pioneering use of statistics in biology. A proponent of neo-Darwinism, he was the son of physiologist John Scott Haldane and had begun assisting his father at age 8. He later joined the** British Communist Party** and also moved to India.

48

Hermann Minkowski(German Mathematician and Professor Who Created and Developed the Geometry of Numbers)

**Birthdate: **June 22, 1864

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Kaunas, Lithuania

**Died: **January 12, 1909

Hermann Minkowski was a mathematician who served as a professor at the *University of Göttingen*, the *University of Königsberg*, and the *University of Zurich*. He is credited with creating and developing the geometry of numbers. He is also credited with using geometrical methods to resolve problems in the theory of relativity, mathematical physics, and number theory.

49

Leslie Lamport(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Programmer, Engineer, Writer)

**Birthdate: **February 7, 1941

**Sun Sign: **Aquarius

**Birthplace: **New York City

50

Martin Gardner(Mathematician, Writer, Journalist, Literary critic, Science fiction writer, Stage magician)

**Birthdate: **October 21, 1914

**Sun Sign: **Libra

**Birthplace: **Tulsa

**Died: **May 22, 2010