Famous Hungarian Mathematicians

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 1 
John von Neumann
(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)
John von Neumann
16
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.
 2 
Paul Erdős
(Mathematician)
Paul Erdős
22
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.

 3 
Theodore von Karman
(Mathematician)
Theodore von Karman
3
Birthdate: May 11, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: May 6, 1963

Hungarian-American mathematician Theodore von Karman is best known for his research on aeronautics. Born to a professor father, Karman was a math prodigy in childhood and was pushed into engineering. He was also the first recipient of the National Medal of Science. A bachelor for life, he lived with his mother and sister.

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 4 
George Pólya
(Hungarian Mathematician and Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University)
George Pólya
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 7, 1985

Known as the father of problem solving in math, mathematician George Pólya taught at ETH Zürich and Stanford, and was one of The Martians who moved from Hungary to the US. His book How to Solve It became widely popular with students of math. Three prizes were later named after him.

 5 
Imre Lakatos
(Philosopher of Mathematics and Science Who Introduced the Concept of 'Research Program')
Imre Lakatos
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Debrecen, Hungary
Died: February 2, 1974
Hungarian Jewish philosopher Imre Lakatos is best known for developing the research programme as a methodology. During the Nazi invasion of Hungary, he had joined a Marxist resistance group and had even changed his surname to evade persecution, though he lost his mother and grandmother in the Holocaust.
 6 
Paul Halmos
(Mathematician, Philosopher, Statistician)
Paul Halmos
2
Birthdate: March 3, 1916
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: October 2, 2006

Born in Hungary, Paul Halmos moved to the US with his family at 13. While he initially set out to complete a PhD in philosophy, he later focused on math. One of The Martians from Hungary, he is known for his contributions to areas such as logic, probability, and statistics.

 7 
John G. Kemeny
(Mathematician)
John G. Kemeny
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 26, 1992

Hungarian-American mathematician and computer scientist John G. Kemeny is remembered for his pathbreaking co-discovery of BASIC computer language. Though he and his parents managed to escape the Nazis by fleeing to the US, he lost his grandfather to the Holocaust. He also worked on the Manhattan Project.

 8 
Peter Lax
(Mathematician, University teacher)
Peter Lax
2
Birthdate: May 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest

Abel Prize-winning Hungarian-American mathematician Peter Lax is remembered for his pathbreaking research on the partial differential equation and its application. He initilly worked for the US’s Manhattan Project and then taught at the New York University and even became the director of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

 9 
Raoul Bott
(Hungarian-American Mathematician Best Known for His Bott Periodicity Theorem)
Raoul Bott
2
Birthdate: September 24, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 20, 2005

Hungarian-born mathematician Raoul Bott is best remembered for his significant contribution to differential geometry and topology. He grew up in Czechoslovakia, the US, and Canada, and he also served the Canadian Army during World War II. He later taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan.

 10 
Endre Szemerédi
(Hungarian-American Mathematician Famous for His Work in Combinatorics and Theoretical Computer Science)
Endre Szemerédi
2
Birthdate: August 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Abel Prize-winning mathematician and computer scientist Endre Szemerédi initially aspired to be a doctor but later quit his medical studies and took up a factory job. He then switched to math and eventually earned a PhD in the subject, taught at Rutgers University, and developed theorems on topics such as arithmetic progression.

 11 
László Babai
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher)
László Babai
2
Birthdate: July 20, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest

University of Chicago professor László Babai is best known for his research on topics such as complexity theory, finite groups, and algorithms. He has authored almost 200 academic papers and has been the editor-in-chief of Theory of Computing. His numerous honors include the Gödel Prize and the Hungarian State Prize.

 12 
Frigyes Riesz
(Mathematician)
Frigyes Riesz
1
Birthdate: January 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Győr, Hungary
Died: February 28, 1956

Hungarian mathematician Frigyes Riesz is largely regarded as a pioneer of functional analysis. He taught at a number of institutes such as the University of Szeged and also co-founded the journal Acta Scientiarum Mathematicarum. His lectures involved an assistant and a docent, quite unusual for his time.

 13 
Marcel Riesz
(Former Mathematician known for work on summation methods)
Marcel Riesz
1
Birthdate: November 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Győr, Hungary
Died: September 4, 1969
 14 
Johann Andreas Segner
(Hungarian Scientist Known for Developing and Construction of the First Water-Jet)
Johann Andreas Segner
1
Birthdate: October 9, 1704
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia, Hungary
Died: October 5, 1777

Hungarian physicist and mathematician Johann Andreas Segner is largely remembered for introducing the concept of surface tension of liquids. Initially a physician, he later became the University of Göttingen’s first professor of math. His inventions include the Segner wheel, a form of water turbine resembling the modern-day lawn sprinkler.