T. O. Engset

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Engset in 1935.

Tore Olaus Engset (May 8, 1865 – October, 1943 in Oslo) was a Norwegian mathematician and engineer who did pioneering work in the field of telephone traffic queuing theory.[1]

Tore Olaus Engset was born at Stranda in Møre og Romsdal, Norway. After he graduated school at the age of 18, Engset was admitted to the telegraph school in Stavanger in 1883. He received his certificate in a year and took employment. In his spare time he continued his studies, graduating in 1892 but continuing his university studies. Engset received an M.Sc. in physics and mathematics (1894) at University of Oslo, after which he worked at Televerket as office worker, traffic analyst and later at age 65 director general (1921-22 (acting), 1930–35). [2]

He developed the Engset formula (1915) before the breakthroughs of A. K. Erlang (1917). His 1915 manuscript "Om beregningen av vælgere i et automatisk telefonsystem" (1915) was not, however, published until 1918. That work was translated to German as "Die Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung zur Bestimmung der Wählerzahl in automatischen Fernsprechämtern", in Elektrotechnische Zeitschrift, Heft 31, 1918. An English translation appeared in Arne Myskja, "On the Calculation of Switches in an Automatic Telephone System" in Telektronikk, 94(2):99-142, 1998.

He also published a work on nuclear physics (1927): "Die Bahnen und die Lichtstrahlung der Wasserstoffelektronen. Ergänzende Betrachtungen über Bahnformen und Strahlungsfrequenzen" (3 parts) in Annalen der Physik, 82 (1927) 1017; 83 (1927) 903; 84 (1927) 880.


  1. ^ Arne Myskja (1998). "The man behind the formula: Biographical notes on Tore Olaus Engset" (PDF). Telektronikk, 94(2):154-164. Retrieved 2012-12-26. Tore Olaus Engset is known in the teletraffic community for the formula that carries his name..
  2. ^ "Tore Olaus Engset". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2017.


  • Arne Myskja: T. Engset in New Light. The 14th Nordic Teletraffic Seminar (NTS-14), Lyngby, Denmark, August 18–20, 1998.
  • Arne Myskja: The Engset Report of 1915. Summary and Comments. Telektronikk, vol. 94, no. 2, pp. 143–153, 1998.
  • Arne Myskja, Ola Espvik: Tore Olaus Engset - The man behind the formula. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim, Norway, 2002. ISBN 82-519-1828-6.