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Three high-stakes math exams. (English) Zbl 1173.01323
Three examples are given of dramatic life situations in which to answer or of a mathematical question became decisive for the fate of some today wellknown mathematicians. Jacob David Tamarkin had to answer a question of analytic geometry raised by an American consul. Igor Tamm (co-recipient of the Nobel prize in Physics, in 1958) had to answer a question of estimation of error one makes by cutting off MacLaurin’s series at the n-th term, raised by an Ataman. Gaetano Fichera had to give a sufficient condition for interchanging limit and integration, a question raised by a student of mathematics from the University of Bologna.
MSC:
01A70Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
References:
[1]A. F. Andreev (Ed.),Kapitsa, Tamm, Semionov in Reminiscences and Letters, (Russian), Vargius, 1998.
[2]G. Fichera,lntorno al passaggio al limite sotto il segno ďintegrale, Portugalie Math.,4(1943), 1–20.
[3]G. Gamow,My World Line, The Viking Press, 1970.
[4]E. Hille,Jacob David Tamarkin–his life and work, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc.,52 (1947), 440–457. · Zbl 0031.09911 · doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1947-08789-9
[5]O. Oleïnik,The life and scientific work of Gaetano Fichera, Rend. Suppl. Acc. Lincei,9(1997), 9–33.