BL Van der Waerden
- Category : 1903-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Refinement 2
Dutch mathematician and historian of mathematics.
He was the son of the social democratic politician and engineer Theodorus van der Waerden (21 August 1876, Eindhoven - 12 June 1940, Laren) and Dorothea Adriana van der Endt (ca 1877- ?). They married 28 Augustus 1901 and got three sons.
Van der Waerden studied mathematics at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Göttingen (1919-1926). In Göttingen he became very impressed by the Jewish mathematician Amalie Emmy Noether (1882-1935). In 1924 he became an important member of her inner circle. The second part of his book Moderne Algebra (1931) was based on her ideas. Other major teachers were for his Moderne Algebra series were R. Dedekind and D. Hilbert and E.Artin.
Amsterdam awarded him a Ph.D. for his thesis enumerative geometry on algebraic geometry, supervised by Hendrick de Vries. Göttingen awarded him the habilitation in 1928. In that year, at the age of 25, he accepted a professorship at the University of Groningen. In the following year, 1931, he was appointed professor at the University of Leipzig. At that time he also married Camilla Rellich, the sister of the mathematician Franz Rellich.
During WW2 he refused to take the German nationality. After WW2 he went to the Netherlands to work for Shell (applied mathematics). In 1947 he was a visiting professor at John Hopkins University of Baltimore. From 1949 till May 1951 he was professor of mathematics at the University of Amsterdam. In 1951 he followed the deceased Rudolf Feuter as mathematics professor in Zürich.
He died 12 January 1996 in Zürich at age 92.