Klaus Roth

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Klaus Roth
Klaus Roth.jpeg
Klaus Friedrich Roth

(1925-10-29)29 October 1925
Died10 November 2015(2015-11-10) (aged 90)
Inverness, Scotland
United Kingdom
Alma materPeterhouse, Cambridge
University College London
Known fordiophantine approximation
discrepancy theory
AwardsSylvester Medal (1991)
LMS De Morgan Medal (1983)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1960)
Fields Medal (1958)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity College London
Imperial College London
Doctoral advisorTheodor Estermann

Klaus Friedrich Roth (29 October 1925 – 10 November 2015) was a German-born British mathematician known for work on diophantine approximation, the large sieve, and irregularities of distribution.

Early life[edit]

He was born to a Jewish[1] family in Breslau, Prussia, but was raised and educated in the UK, where his Jewish family settled to escape Nazi persecution in 1933. He was pupil at St Paul's School in London from 1939 to 1943 and then attended Cambridge University, graduating from Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1945. In 1946 he began research at University College London, under the supervision of Theodor Estermann.[2]


In 1952, Roth proved that subsets of the integers of positive density must contain infinitely many arithmetic progressions of length three, thus establishing the first non-trivial case of what is now known as Szemerédi's theorem. His definitive result, now known usually as the Thue–Siegel–Roth theorem, but also just Roth's theorem, dates from 1955, when he was a lecturer at University College London. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1958 on the strength of it. He became a professor at University College London in 1961, and moved to a chair at Imperial College London in 1966, a position he retained until official retirement in 1988. He then remained at Imperial College as Visiting Professor until 1996. He died in 2015 at the age of 90.[3]

The Imperial College Department of Mathematics instituted the Roth Doctoral Fellowship in his honour.


  • Roth, Klaus Friedrich (1955), "Rational approximations to algebraic numbers", Mathematika, 2: 1–20, 168, doi:10.1112/S0025579300000644, ISSN 0025-5793, MR 0072182
  • Halberstam, Heini; Roth, Klaus Friedrich (1983) [1966], Sequences (2nd ed.), Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-90801-4, MR 0210679


  1. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12172026/Klaus-Roth-mathematician-obituary.html Klaus Roth, mathematician - obituary] Daily Telegraph, 24 Feb 2016
  2. ^ Chen, William; Vaughan, Robert (2017-06-14). "Klaus Friedrich Roth. 29 October 1925 — 10 November 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 63: 487–525. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2017.0014. ISSN 0080-4606.
  3. ^ "Klaus Roth". Chalkdust. 2015-11-10. Retrieved 2015-11-10.

Further reading[edit]

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