|Michael (Mihály) Fekete|
July 19, 1886|
Zenta, Bácska, Austria-Hungary
|Died||May 13, 1957
|Alma mater||Budapest University|
|Doctoral advisor||Lipót Fejér|
|Doctoral students||Aryeh Dvoretzky
Michael Bahir Maschler
Menahem Max Schiffer
|Known for||Fekete's lemma, Fekete polynomial|
|Notable awards||Israel Prize for Exact Sciences (1955)|
Fekete was born in 1886 in Zenta, Bačka, in the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Senta in Vojvodina, Serbia). He received his PhD in 1909 from the Budapest University (later renamed to Eötvös Loránd University), under the stewardship of Lipót Fejér, among whose students were other mathematicians such as Paul Erdős, John von Neumann, Pál Turán and George Pólya. After completing his PhD he left to Georg-August University of Göttingen, which in those days was considered a mathematics hub, and subsequently returned to the University of Budapest, where he attained the title of Privatdozent. In addition, Fekete engaged in private mathematics tutoring. Among his students was János Neumann, who, was later known in the United States as John von Neumann. In 1922, Fekete published a paper together with von Neumann in the subject of extremal polynomials. This was von Neumann's first scientific paper. Fekete dedicated the majority of his scientific work to the transfinite diameter.
In 1928 he immigrated to Mandate Palestine and was among the first instructors in the Institute of Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1929 he was promoted to professor in the institute. Eventually he succeeded the mathematicians Edmund Landau and Adolf Abraham Halevi Fraenkel in heading the institute. He later moved on to become the dean of Natural Sciences, and between the years 1946–1948 he was Hebrew University Provost.
- Rogosinski, W. W. (1958). "Obituary: Michael Fekete". Journal of the London Mathematical Society. Second Series 33: 496–500. doi:10.1112/jlms/s1-33.4.496. ISSN 0024-6107. MR 0100535.
- "Israel Prize recipients in 1955 (in Hebrew)". cms.education.gov.il (Israel Prize official website). Archived from the original on 4 March 2010.