Salomon Bochner

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Salomon Bochner
BochnerSalomon Zurich1932.tif
Zürich 1932
Born(1899-08-20)20 August 1899
Died2 May 1982(1982-05-02) (aged 82)
Alma materUniversity of Berlin
Known forBochner integral
Bochner's theorem
AwardsAMS Steele Prize 1979[1][2]
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Munich
Princeton University
Institute for Advanced Study
Rice University
Doctoral advisorErhard Schmidt[3]
Doctoral studentsRichard Askey
Eugenio Calabi
Jeff Cheeger
M. T. Cheng
Hillel Furstenberg
Robert Gunning
Israel Halperin
Sigurdur Helgason
Carl Herz
Gilbert Hunt
Samuel Karlin
Anthony Knapp
Paco Lagerstrom
Lynn Loomis
Burton Randol
Harry Rauch
Herbert Scarf
William A. Veech
Gerard Washnitzer

Salomon Bochner (20 August 1899 – 2 May 1982) was an American mathematician, known for work in mathematical analysis, probability theory and differential geometry.


He was born into a Jewish family in Podgórze (near Kraków), then Austria-Hungary, now Poland. Fearful of a Russian invasion in Galicia at the beginning of World War I in 1914, his family moved to Germany, seeking greater security. Bochner was educated at a Berlin gymnasium (secondary school), and then at the University of Berlin. There, he was a student of Erhard Schmidt,[3] writing a dissertation involving what would later be called the Bergman kernel. Shortly after this, he left the academy to help his family during the escalating inflation. After returning to mathematical research, he lectured at the University of Munich from 1924 to 1933. His academic career in Germany ended after the Nazis came to power in 1933, and he left for a position at Princeton University. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1945-48.[4] He was appointed as Henry Burchard Fine Professor in 1959, retiring in 1968. Although he was seventy years old when he retired from Princeton, Bochner was appointed as Edgar Odell Lovett Professor of Mathematics at Rice University and went on to hold this chair until his death in 1982. He became Head of Department at Rice in 1969 and held this position until 1976. He died in Houston, Texas. He was an Orthodox Jew.[5]

Mathematical work[edit]

In 1925 he started work in the area of almost periodic functions, simplifying the approach of Harald Bohr by use of compactness and approximate identity arguments. In 1933 he defined the Bochner integral, as it is now called, for vector-valued functions. Bochner's theorem on Fourier transforms appeared in a 1932 book. His techniques came into their own as Pontryagin duality and then the representation theory of locally compact groups developed in the following years.

Subsequently he worked on multiple Fourier series, posing the question of the Bochner–Riesz means. This led to results on how the Fourier transform on Euclidean space behaves under rotations.

In differential geometry, Bochner's formula on curvature from 1946 was published. Joint work with Kentaro Yano (1912–1993) led to the 1953 book Curvature and Betti Numbers. It had consequences, for the Kodaira vanishing theory, representation theory, and spin manifolds. Bochner also worked on several complex variables (the Bochner–Martinelli formula and the book Several Complex Variables from 1948 with W. T. Martin).


  • Bochner, Salomon (1992), Gunning, Robert C., ed., Collected papers. Part 1, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-0174-1, MR 1151390
  • Bochner, Salomon (1992), Gunning, Robert C., ed., Collected papers. Part 2, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-0175-8, MR 1151391
  • Bochner, Salomon (1992), Gunning, Robert C., ed., Collected papers. Part 3, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-0176-5, MR 1151392
  • Bochner, Salomon (1992), Gunning, Robert C., ed., Collected papers. Part 4, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-0177-2, MR 1151393

See also[edit]


External links[edit]