Felix Pollaczek

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Felix Pollaczek

Félix Pollaczek (1 December 1892 in Vienna – 29 April 1981 at Boulogne-Billancourt) was an Austrian-French engineer and mathematician, known for numerous contributions to number theory, mathematical analysis, mathematical physics and probability theory. He is best known for the Pollaczek–Khinchine formula in queueing theory (1930), and the Pollaczek polynomials.

Pollaczek studied at the Technical University of Vienna, got a M.Sc. in electrical engineering from Technical University of Brno (1920), and his Ph.D. in mathematics from University of Berlin (1922) on a dissertation entitled Über die Kreiskörper der l-ten und l2-ten Einheitswurzeln, advised by Issai Schur and based on results published first in 1917.[1]

He was employed by AEG in Berlin (1921–23), worked for Reichspost (1923–33). In 1933, he was fired because he was Jewish.[2] He moved to Paris, where he was consulting teletraffic engineer to various institutions from 1933 onwards. In 1977 was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize, although his age prevented him from receiving the prize in person.

He married mathematician Hilda Geiringer in 1921, and they had a child, Magda, in 1922. However, their marriage did not last, and Magda was brought up by Hilda.


  1. ^ entry at the mathematics genealogy
  2. ^ German Wikipedia article on Felix Pollaczek