17
$\begingroup$

I hope this question is not too crazy sounding, but I was wondering if anyone is familiar with the work of Ted Kaczynski (or even has cited/used it before). After reading in Lars Ahlfors' Complex Analysis and Serge Lang's book by the same name, I became interested in some of the historic results in complex analysis.

I know that Kaczynski did work in the field of complex analysis and specifically geometric function theory. From what I have gathered, he was actually rather brilliant as a research mathematician. What in specific did he research and how are his results used today? (If at all).

Again, I do not want to know about his political views or his history as the Unabomber. I am only interested in the utility of his mathematics.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There is something of a bibliography here with summaries. I can't say anything about their quality. A lot of it is in AMS journals and is hence relatively easy to track down online to read for yourself. This kind of thing seems somewhat different from the sort of analysis done in introductory complex analysis texts, though. You can still see his name on the Sumner Myers Award for Best Thesis plaque on the first floor of East Hall in Ann Arbor and my understanding is that he got a job at Berkeley after that, so he was probably pretty good. $\endgroup$ – Hoot Jun 2 '15 at 23:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Assistant professorship at Cal for a couple of years, which he then resigned. $\endgroup$ – Brian Tung Jun 3 '15 at 0:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's a nice description here, in particular Andres's answer: mathoverflow.net/questions/49395/… $\endgroup$ – Alex R. Jun 3 '15 at 2:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wonder if complex analysts are somehow predisposed to murder. See André Bloch $\endgroup$ – Jair Taylor Jun 3 '15 at 3:15
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Vladhagen: Definitely, Galois was a terrible shooter :). $\endgroup$ – Alex R. Jun 3 '15 at 4:36
8
$\begingroup$

T. Kaczynski has published 6 papers in 4 years (1965-69) which can be considered as a good beginning of a promising career. According to Mathscinet database, one of his papers was cited 4 times (2 of them by himself), and three were cited one time each (two by himself). Mathscinet does not count all citations but most of them.

I am somewhat familiar with the subject of his work. I would not call it "brilliant", but qualify it as average PhD graduating from a good university.

Remark. That two well known serial killers among mathematicians were both doing complex variables, is a coincidence, on my opinion:-) (The other one was Andre Bloch who was a really brilliant mathematician, but unfortunately, insane.)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Wait, there are two? $\endgroup$ – Vincent Dec 12 '18 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ O wait, the other one is mentioned in the comments on the original post, never mind $\endgroup$ – Vincent Dec 12 '18 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent 1: No, the person mentioned in the comments was not known as a mathematician. I added the name of the second one to my answer. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Dec 12 '18 at 14:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.