Tom M. Apostol

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Tom M. Apostol
Born (1923-08-20)August 20, 1923
Helper, Utah, U.S.
Died May 8, 2016(2016-05-08) (aged 92)
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions California Institute of Technology
Alma mater University of Washington (B.S., M.S.)
University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Doctoral advisor Derrick Henry Lehmer
Doctoral students Basil Gordon
Abe Sklar

Tom Mike Apostol (August 20, 1923 – May 8, 2016)[1] was an American analytic number theorist and professor at the California Institute of Technology, best known as the author of widely used mathematical textbooks.

Life and career[edit]

Apostol was born in Helper, Utah. His parents, Emmanouil Apostolopoulos and Efrosini Papathanasopoulos, were Greek immigrants.[2] Apostolopoulos's name was shortened to Mike Apostol when he obtained his United States citizenship, and Tom Apostol inherited this Americanized surname.[2]

Apostol received his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering in 1944, Master's degree in mathematics from the University of Washington in 1946, and a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1948.[3] Since then Apostol was a faculty member at UC Berkeley, MIT, and Caltech. He was the author of several influential graduate and undergraduate level textbooks.

Apostol was the creator and project director for Project MATHEMATICS! producing videos which explore basic topics in high school mathematics. He helped popularize the visual calculus devised by Mamikon Mnatsakanian with whom he also wrote a number of papers, many of which appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly. Apostol also provided academic content for an acclaimed video lecture series on introductory physics, The Mechanical Universe.

In 2001, Apostol was elected in the Academy of Athens.[4][5] He received a Lester R. Ford Award in 2005,[6][7][8] in 2008,[9] and in 2010.[10] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[11]


  • Mathematical Analysis: A Modern Approach to Advanced Calculus, (1957) Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-00288-4
  • Introduction to Analytic Number Theory, (1976) Springer-Verlag, New York. ISBN 0-387-90163-9
  • Modular Functions and Dirichlet Series in Number Theory, (1990) Springer-Verlag, New York. ISBN 0-387-90185-X
  • Calculus, Volume 1, One-variable calculus, with an introduction to linear algebra, (1967) Wiley, ISBN 0-536-00005-0, ISBN 978-0-471-00005-1
  • Calculus, Volume 2, Multi-variable calculus and linear algebra with applications to differential equations and probability, (1969) Wiley, ISBN 0-471-00008-6
  • The Mechanical Universe: Mechanics and Heat, Advanced Edition ISBN 0-521-30432-6 (with Steven C. Frautschi, Richard P. Olenick, and David L. Goodstein)
  • New Horizons in Geometry ISBN 088385354X (with Mamikon Mnatsakanian)


  1. ^ Tom M. Apostol, 1923–2016
  2. ^ a b Albers, Donald J.; Apostol, Tom (1997). "An Interview with Tom Apostol". The College Mathematics Journal. Mathematical Association of America. 28, No. 4 (4): 250–270. JSTOR 2687147. doi:10.2307/2687147. 
  3. ^ Tom M. Apostol at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ «Professor Elected to Greek Academy», Caltech Media Relations.
  5. ^ "Members of the First Section". Academy of Athens. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  6. ^ Apostol, Tom; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon (2004). "Isoperimetric and Isoparametric Problems". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111 (2): 118–136. doi:10.2307/4145213. 
  7. ^ Apostol, Tom; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon (2004). "A Fresh Look at the Method of Archimedes". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111: 496–508. doi:10.2307/4145068. 
  8. ^ Apostol, Tom; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon (2004). "Figures Circumscribing Circles". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111: 853–863. doi:10.2307/4145094. 
  9. ^ Apostol, Tom. M.; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon A. (2007). "Unwrapping Curves from Cylinders and Cones". Amer. Math. Monthly. 114: 388–416. 
  10. ^ Apostol, Tom M.; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon A. (2009). "New Insight into Cycloidal Areas". Amer. Math. Monthly. 116 (7): 598–611. doi:10.4169/193009709x458573. 
  11. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-03.

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