March 26, 1908|
|Died||October 15, 1970(aged 62)|
|Alma mater||University of Basel|
|Doctoral advisor||Alexander Ostrowski|
|Doctoral students||John Selfridge
|Known for||Motzkin transposition theorem
PIDs that are not EDs
Motzkin's father Leo Motzkin, a Russian Jew, went to Berlin at the age of thirteen to study mathematics. He pursued university studies in the topic and was accepted as a graduate student by Leopold Kronecker, but left the field to work for the Zionist movement before finishing a dissertation.
Motzkin grew up in Berlin and started studying mathematics at an early age as well, entering university when he was only 15. He received his Ph.D. in 1934 from the University of Basel under the supervision of Alexander Ostrowski for a thesis on the subject of linear programming (Beiträge zur Theorie der linearen Ungleichungen, "Contributions to the Theory of Linear Inequalities", 1936).
In 1935, Motzkin was appointed to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, contributing to the development of mathematical terminology in Hebrew. During World War II, he worked as a cryptographer for the British government.
Motzkin married Naomi Orenstein in Jerusalem. The couple had three sons:
- Aryeh Leo Motzkin - Orientalist
- Gabriel Motzkin - philosopher
- Elhanan Motzkin - mathematician
Contributions to mathematics
Motzkin's dissertation contained an important contribution to the nascent theory of linear programming (LP), but its importance was only recognized after an English translation appeared in 1951. He would continue to play an important role in the development of LP while at UCLA. Apart from this, Motzkin published about diverse problems in algebra, graph theory, approximation theory, combinatorics, numerical analysis, algebraic geometry and number theory.
The Motzkin transposition theorem, Motzkin numbers and the Fourier–Motzkin elimination are named after Theodore Motzkin. He first developed the "double description" algorithm of polyhedral combinatorics and computational geometry. He was the first to prove the existence of principal ideal domains that are not Euclidean domains, being his first example.
- Motzkin, Theodore S. (1983). David Cantor; Basil Gordon; Bruce Rothschild, eds. Theodore S. Motzkin: Selected papers. Contemporary Mathematicians. Boston, Mass.: Birkhäuser. pp. xxvi+530. ISBN 3-7643-3087-2. MR 693096.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Theodore Motzkin", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Theodore Motzkin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Joachim Schwermer (1997). "Motzkin, Theodor Samuel". Neue Deutsche Biographie. 18. pp. 231 ff.
- Motzkin, T. S.; Raiffa, H.; Thompson, G. L.; Thrall, R. M. (1953). "The double description method". Contributions to the theory of games. Annals of Mathematics Studies. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press. pp. 51–73. MR 60202.
- Hans Jürgen Prömel (2005). "Complete Disorder is Impossible: The Mathematical Work of Walter Deuber". Combinatorics, Probability and Computing. Cambridge University Press. 14: 3–16. doi:10.1017/S0963548304006674.