Wilhelm Friedrich Ackermann (29 March 1896 – 24 December 1962) was a
German mathematician best known for the Ackermann function, an
important example in the theory of computation.
Ackermann was born in
Herscheid municipality, Germany, and was awarded
a Ph.D. by the
University of Göttingen
University of Göttingen in 1925 for his thesis
Begründung des "tertium non datur" mittels der Hilbertschen Theorie
der Widerspruchsfreiheit, which was a consistency proof of arithmetic
apparently without full Peano induction (although it did use e.g.
induction over the length of proofs). From 1929 until 1948, he taught
at the Arnoldinum Gymnasium in Burgsteinfurt, and then at Lüdenscheid
until 1961. He was also a corresponding member of the Akademie der
Wissenschaften (Academy of Sciences) in Göttingen, and was an
honorary professor at the University of Münster.
In 1928, Ackermann helped
David Hilbert turn his 1917 – 22 lectures
on introductory mathematical logic into a text, Principles of
Mathematical Logic. This text contained the first exposition ever of
first-order logic, and posed the problem of its completeness and
decidability (Entscheidungsproblem). Ackermann went on to construct
consistency proofs for set theory (1937), full arithmetic (1940),
type-free logic (1952), and a new axiomatization of set theory (1956).
Although Ackermann did not choose a university career and rather
continued as a high school teacher, he was continually engaged in
research and published many contributions to the foundations of
mathematics until the end of his life. He died in Lüdenscheid,
Ackermann set theory
Inverse Ackermann function
1928. "On Hilbert's construction of the real numbers" in Jean van
Heijenoort, ed., 1967. From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in
Mathematical Logic, 1879-1931. Harvard Univ. Press: 493-507.
1940. Zur Widerspruchsfreiheit der Zahlentheorie, Mathematische
Annalen, vol. 117, pp 162–194.
1950 (1928). (with David Hilbert) Principles of Mathematical Logic.
Chelsea. Translation of 1938 German edition.
1954. Solvable cases of the decision problem. North Holland.
O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Wilhelm Ackermann", MacTutor
Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
Wilhelm Ackermann at the
Mathematics Genealogy Project
Erich Friedman's page on Ackermann at Stetson University
Hermes, In memoriam WILHELM ACKERMANN 1896-1962 (PDF, 945 KB)
Author profile in the database zbMATH
ISNI: 0000 0000 8385 3527
BNF: cb16183913c (data)