# Oswald Veblen

American mathematician

**Oswald Veblen** (24 June 1880 – 10 August 1960) was an American mathematician, geometer and topologist, whose work found application in atomic physics and the theory of relativity. He proved the Jordan curve theorem in 1905.

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## Quotes

edit- In instituting the Willard Gibbs Lectures, the American Mathematical Society has recognized the dual character of mathematics. On the one hand, mathematics is one of the essential emanations of the human spirit,—a thing to be valued in and for itself, like art or poetry. Gibbs made notable contributions to this side of mathematics in his work on vector analysis and multiple algebras.

On the other hand, mathematics is the handmaiden and the helper of the other sciences, both in their most abstract generalizations and in their most concrete applications in industry.- as quoted by R. G. D. Richardson, (July 1924)"The first Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture".
*Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society***30**: 289-291. (quote from p. 289 from Veblen's introduction in March 1923 of the 1923 Gibbs Lecturer M. I. Pupin)

- as quoted by R. G. D. Richardson, (July 1924)"The first Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture".

- The importance of the theory of differential invariants in physical problems is due to the fact that when coordinates are used to describe physical phenomena (e.g. those studied in geometry) it is usually the case that the coordinates are no part of the phenomena themselves. They are generally put into the description by the observer. Therefore it is desirable to have the description in such terms that when stated in terms of one coordinate system, it can be read off easily in terms of other systems. Such statements will employ invariants of one sort or another.
*Invariants of Quadratic Differential Forms*. Cambridge University Press. 1927. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-521-06673-0.

## Quotes about Oswald Veblen

edit- In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Veblen carried out three extraordinary initiatives. He helped to create the original Fine Hall—what is today Jones Hall—as the first home for Princeton’s Department of Mathematics. He influenced Abraham Flexner’s decision to locate the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton rather than Newark. And he became a founding member of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, which brought hundreds of refugees to Princeton and other universities.
- Eisgruber, Christopher L. (21 February 2020). "A Professor's Legacy, and its Lessons for Today".
*Princeton Alumni Weekly*.

- Eisgruber, Christopher L. (21 February 2020). "A Professor's Legacy, and its Lessons for Today".