Conference To Celebrate The Mathematics Of Leon Ehrenpries

March 31, 1998

Mathematicians have a tradition of honoring the field's living legends with a conference that celebrates their work. On April 6-7, that honor will be bestowed on Temple University professor Leon Ehrenpries.

Following the Eastern Section Meeting of the American Mathematical Society at Temple's Center City Philadelphia campus on April 4-6, many of the world's top mathematicians will reconvene for "Analysis, Geometry and Number Theory: A Conference Celebrating the Mathematics of Leon Ehrenpries."

The conference will commence with a banquet on Monday, April 6 and continue the next day with more than a dozen speakers who will seek to place Professor Ehrenpries' contributions in context.

When they reflect upon his work, Ehrenpries' colleagues at Temple speak in a mixture of enthusiastic and reverential tones. "When he was in his 20s, he solved many of the outstanding problems of the time," explains Professor Shiferaw Berhanu. "But he did more than that--he invented many tricks and ideas and methods, new bulldozers that no one had even thought of building. By doing so, he solved whole areas of mathematics."

Professor Gerardo Mendoza uses the standard of "whether this person will be remembered 100 years from now" and claims that Ehrenpries will certainly pass that test of time. "He outlined pioneering definitions that are now the industry standard. His work and insights have had a major influence on the development of mathematics in the second half of the 20th century."

The work which first brought Leon Ehrenpries to prominence was in the field of partial differential equations. He was able to show that certain types of these equations, which are fundamental to mathematics and other fields such as physics, are solvable through a process known as Fourier analysis.

Though beyond the understanding of the casual user of mathematics, the impact of Ehrenpries' work for mathematicians and physicists has many of his colleagues from around the world referring to him as an "originator" of mathematical ideas. In other words, they place him in the rarified air of Laplace and Isaac Newton.

In addition to two books, including Fourier Analysis in Several Complex Variables, Leon Ehrenpries is the author of over 60 papers published in prestigious mathematical journals. He has been a full professor at Temple since 1984 and has been a visiting professor at Princeton, Yale, and Harvard.

The "Analysis, Geometry and Number Theory Conference" is being organized by Temple's mathematics department and will be funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

For more information, call (215) 204-7841 or visit the department's website at www.math.temple.edu.
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Temple University

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