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Famous Mathematicians Glossary


Alberto Fujimori

President of Peru, 1990-2000. Holds a master's degree in mathematics from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature. Author of The Gulag Archipelago and other influential literary works. Degree in Mathematics and physics from the University of Rostov.

Art Garfunkel

Singer. Master's in mathematics from Columbia University. Started on his PhD, but stopped to pursue a career in music.


Bram Stoker

Author of Dracula. Mathematics degree from Trinity College, Dublin.


Carole King

Prolific pop songwriter of the 1960's later also became a singer. Dropped out after one year of a mathematics degree to develop her musical career.


Eamon de Valera

Prime Minister and later president of the Republic of Ireland. Taught mathematics at university before Irish independence.

Edmund Husserl

Philosopher. Mathematics PhD from Vienna in 1883.

Emanual Lasker.

Chess grandmaster, world chess champion 1894-1921. Mathematics professor at Heidleburg University.


J.M Coetzee

South African author and academic, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. BA in Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in 1961. Also BA in English, Cape Town, 1960.

J.P. Morgan

Banking, steel and railroad magnate. He was so good at mathematics that the faculty of Gottingen University tried to persuade him to become a professional.

John Maynard Keynes

Economist. MA and 12th Wrangler in mathematics, Cambridge University.


Larry Niven

Author of Ringworld and numerous other Science Fiction bestsellers. Majored in mathematics.

Leon Trotsky

Revolutionary. Studied mathematics Odessa in 1897. Mathematical career terminated by imprisonment in Siberia.

Lewis Carroll

Pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Author of Alice in Wonderland. Logician.

Lugwig Wittgenstein

Philosopher. Studied mathematical logic with Bertrand Russell.


Michael Jordan

Basketball player. Started as a mathematics student at university but changed subject after his second year.


Phillip Glass

Modern composer, 'minimalist' (now 'post-minimalist') in style. Accelerated college programme in Mathematics and Philosophy, University of Chicago, at the age of fifteen.

Pierre Boulez

Modernist composer and conductor. Studied mathematics at the University of Lyon but then switched to music.


Sergey Brin

Co-founder of GoogleTM, with Larry Page. Computer Science and Mathematics degree from the University of Maryland. Net worth estimated at $16.6 billion in 2007, making him the 26th-Richest person in the world. The Google search engine is based on mathematical principles.

Sir Christopher Wren

Architect, in particular of St. Paul's Cathedral. Science and mathematics at Wadham College, Oxford.


Teri Hatcher

Actor. Played Lois Lane in The New Adventures of Superman and also starred in Desperate Housewives. Mathematics and engineering major at DeAnza Junior College.

Theodore Kaczynski

PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. Retreated to the Montana foothills and became the notorious 'Unabomber'. Sentenced to life imprisonment, with no possibility of parole, for murder.


Virginia Wade

Tennis player, winner of the 1977 Wimbledon ladies' singles title. Degree in mathematics and physics from Sussex University.