Alberto P. Calderon

The University of Chicago

September 14, 1920 - April 16, 1998

Scientific Discipline: Mathematics
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1968)

Classical and functional analyst Alberto Calderón is best known for his contributions to calculus, infinite series, harmonic and functional analysis, and differentiation theory.  With his mentor, Antoni Zygmund, he proposed the Calderón-Zygmund theory of singular integral operators.  This research evolved into a more general theory of pseudo-differential operators that produced innovative results on the boundary between analysis and topology.  He applied this to the theory of linear partial differential equations, providing new procedures for studying classical problems.  The two scientists also developed the Calderón-Zygmund inequality, which became one of the most effective methods for proving existence theorems.  Calderón’s other major contributions included work on boundary values of harmonic functions, on interpolation of operators, on extension of the concept of differentials, on singular operators with values in abstract spaces, and on functional calculus for the symbol of singular operators.

Born in Argentina, Calderón attended the University of Buenos Aires where he received an engineering degree in 1947.  He enrolled at the University of Chicago, earning his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1950.  From 1955 until his death, Calderón was a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, and the University of Buenos Aires.  For his groundbreaking contributions to mathematical analysis, he was the recipient of the Bocher Memorial Prize of the American Mathematical Society in 1979, the Steele Prize of the American Mathematical Society in 1989, and the National Medal of Science of the National Science Foundation in 1991.

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