Larry Wos

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Larry Wos
Lawrence T. Wos

Died(2020-08-21)August 21, 2020
Known forTheorem proving
AwardsHerbrand Award (1992)
Scientific career
ThesisOn Commutative Prime Power Subgroups of the Norm (1957)

Lawrence T. Wos (1930–2020) was an American mathematician, a researcher in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory.[1]


Wos studied at the University of Chicago, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1950 and a master's in mathematics in 1954, and went on for doctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received PhD in 1957 supervised by Reinhold Baer.[2] He joined the Argonne in 1957, and began using computers to prove mathematical theorems in 1963.[3][4]

Wos was congenitally blind. He was an avid bowler, the best male blind bowler in the US.[5][6][7]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1982, Wos and his colleague Steve Winker were the first to win the Automated Theorem Proving Prize, given by the American Mathematical Society.[5] In 1992, Wos was the first to win the Herbrand Award for his contributions to the field of automated deduction.[8] A festschrift in his honor, Automated reasoning and its applications: essays in honor of Larry Wos (Robert Veroff, ed.) was published by the MIT Press in 1997 (ISBN 0-262-22055-5).


Wos and Gail W. Pieper are the coauthors of the books A Fascinating Country in the World of Computing: Your Guide to Automated Reasoning (World Scientific, 1999, ISBN 978-981-02-3910-7) and Automated Reasoning and the Discovery of Missing and Elegant Proofs (Rinton Press, 2003, ISBN 1-58949-023-1). Wos's collected works were published by World Scientific in 2000, in two volumes (ISBN 978-981-02-4001-1).


  1. ^ Larry Wos's home page at Argonne, retrieved 2010-10-03.
  2. ^ Larry Wos at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Obermiller, Tim Andrew (April 1997), "Top of his game", University of Chicago Magazine.
  4. ^ Dick, Stephanie (September 2011). "AfterMath: The Work of Proof in the Age of Human–Machine Collaboration". Isis. University of Chicago Press. 102 (3): 494–505. doi:10.1086/661623. JSTOR 10.1086/661623. PMID 22073773. S2CID 24778586.
  5. ^ a b Chicago Tribune, November 18, 1982.
  6. ^ Van, Jon (January 24, 1982), "Blindness took back seat on road to success", Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ Montgomery, Paul L. (May 27, 1977), "Blind Mathematician Applies Analytical Method to Bowling", New York Times.
  8. ^ Deepak Kapur (1992), Automated deduction, CADE-11: 11th International Conference on Automated Deduction

External links[edit]