Wednesday, May 26, 2010

RIP Walter Rudin (1921-2010)

I didn't notice this earlier amidst Martin Gardner's death, but mathematician Walter Rudin also died a few days ago.

I know him best for his three text books. The easiest one, which gives an introduction to analysis, is affectionately known as "Baby Rudin". The middle one, which is often used in Math 110 at Caltech for much of the material, is called "Big Rudin" or sometimes "Green Rudin". I own this second book as well as Rudin's functional analysis book, which sadly doesn't have an official nickname. I started calling it "Bigger Rudin" as a result. I never met the guy and don't know much about his research, the story of his wife's job situation at University of Wisconsin at Madison gets told reasonably often.

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