Terzioğlu was born in İstanbul, Turkey. He graduated from Robert College in 1961. He studied mathematics at Newcastle University, UK and received his BS in 1965. He earned his PhD from Frankfurt University in Germany in 1968. Between 1968-1994, he taught at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. He worked as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan between 1975–1976 and University of Wuppertal in Germany between 1982-1983. He had been the president of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) between 1992-1997. He was later the president of Sabanci University, Istanbul. He died at the age of 74 at Istanbul in 2016.
- "Veteran Turkish scholar Tosun Terzioğlu dies at 74 - BOOKS". hurriyetdailynews.com.
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