Louis Rosenhead

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Louis Rosenhead (1 January 1906-10 November 1984) was a British mathematician who was Head of Department at Liverpool University from 1933 to 1973.


His parents came from adjacent villages in Poland; they were married in the Beth-Hamedrash Hagodel Synagogue in Leeds in 1905. His father Abram Rozenkopf did his national service in Russia, and came to England in 1903; his mother came in 1902. He was a tailor and later became a butcher.

Louis was one of three children. He married Esther Brostoff, at Louis Street Synagogue in Leeds in 1932. His sons Martin David Rosenhead and Jonathan Vivian Rosenhead both went to their father's college, St John's College, Cambridge. Jonathan is Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics.


Louis graduated from Cambridge with a First in 1926, and then did a PhD at Leeds with Selig Brodetsky. Later he returned to Cambridge and worked with Harold Jeffreys.

He worked on theoretical fluid mechanics and spent some years in Göttingen, along with Sydney Goldstein, and H.B.Squire.


In 1933 he replaced Joseph Proudman as professor at Liverpool. Thus he was a contemporary of J. M. Whitaker.

During World war II, Rosenhead was Superintendent of Ballistics at the Projectile Development Establishment.

In 1947 he was instrumental in developing statistics and in the appointment of Robin Plackett. His colleagues also included Maurice Bartlett, P.A.P. Moran and D. G. Kendall.

In 1973 he was succeeded by Geoffrey Walker.[1]



  1. ^ Times Obituary
  2. ^ Stuart, J. T. (1986) Louis Rosenhead. 1 January 1906-10 November 1984. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 32, 407–420. doi:10.2307/770118