Henry O. Pollak

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Henry Otto Pollak (born December 13, 1927) is an Austrian-American mathematician. He is known for his contributions to information theory, and with Ronald Graham is the namesake of the Graham–Pollak theorem in graph theory.

Born in Vienna, Austria, he since moved to United States. He received his B.Sc. in Mathematics (1947) from Yale University. While at Yale, he participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition and was on the team representing Yale University (along with Murray Gell-Mann and Murray Gerstenhaber) that won the second prize in 1947.[1] He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. (1951) degree in mathematics from Harvard University, the latter on the thesis Some Estimates for Extremal Distance advised by Lars Ahlfors.

Pollak then joined Bell Labs (1951), where he in the early 1960s became director of the Mathematics and Statistics Research Center. He authored near forty papers, many of these with David Slepian and Henry Landau on analysis, function theory, probability theory, and mathematics education. He has applied mathematics to solve problems in physics and networks, communication theory, discrete systems, statistics and data analysis, and economic analysis. Pollak also holds patents in the area of signaling.[2] He has held teaching positions in the mathematics department at Columbia University.



  1. ^ G. W. Mackey (1947). "The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition". The American Mathematical Monthly. 54 (7): 400–3. doi:10.1080/00029890.1947.11990193. JSTOR 2304390.
  2. ^ U.S. patent 3,710,026
  3. ^ MAA presidents: Henry Otto Pollak
  4. ^ Henry Otto Pollak, honorary Sc.D. Archived 2010-08-02 at the Wayback Machine announcement
  5. ^ "Dolciani Award | Mathematical Association of America". www.maa.org. Retrieved 2020-09-27.

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