Peter Ludwig Mejdell Sylow

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Ludwig Sylow

Peter Ludwig Mejdell Sylow (IPA: [ ˈsyːlɔv]) (12 December 1832 – 7 September 1918) was a Norwegian mathematician who proved foundational results in group theory.[1]

He was born and died in Christiania (now Oslo). Sylow was a son of government minister Thomas Edvard von Westen Sylow, and a brother of military officer and sports official Carl Sylow. He attended Christiania Cathedral School and the University of Christiania.[2]

Sylow was a high school teacher at Hartvig Nissen School, later before becoming a headmaster in Halden from 1858 to 1898. He was a substitute lecturer at Christiania University in 1862, covering Galois theory. It was then that he posed the question that led to his theorems regarding Sylow subgroups. Sylow published the Sylow theorems in 1872, and subsequently devoted eight years of his life, with Sophus Lie, to the project of editing the mathematical works of his countryman, Niels Henrik Abel. In 1894 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Copenhagen. In 1898, he was appointed professor at the University of Christiania.[3][4]


  1. ^ Birkeland, Bent. "Ludvig Sylow". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ Brinchmann, Christopher; Daae, Anders; Hammer, K. V., eds. (1912). "Sylow, Peter Ludwig Mejdell". Hvem er Hvem? Haandbog over samtidige norske mænd og kvinder (in Norwegian) (1 ed.). Kristiania: Aschehoug. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  3. ^ O'Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. "Peter Ludwig Mejdell Sylow". School of Mathematics and Statistics. University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ Birkeland, Bent. "Ludvig Sylow". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 

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