Kurt Godel

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Philosopher
QUICK FACTS
Date of Birth April 28, 1906
Place of Birth Brno, Czech Republic
Date of Death Jan 14, 1978 (71)
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Kurt Gödel

Kurt Friedrich Gödel was an Austro-Hungarian-born Austrian logician, mathematician, and analytic philosopher. Considered along with Aristotle and Gottlob Frege to be one of the most significant logicians in history, Gödel had an immense effect upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when others such as Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, and David Hilbert were analyzing the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics pioneered by Georg Cantor. Gödel published his two incompleteness theorems in 1931 when he was 25 years old, one year after finishing his doctorate at the University of Vienna. The first incompleteness theorem states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers, there are true propositions about the natural numbers that cannot be proved from the axioms.

Born: Kurt Friedrich Gödel, April 28, 1906, Brünn, Austria-Hungary, (now Brno, Czech Republic)
Died: January 14, 1978, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Citizenship: Czechoslovak, Austrian, American
Fields: Mathematics, mathematical logic, analytic philosophy, physics
Institutions: Institute for Advanced Study
Alma mater: University of Vienna
Thesis: Über die Vollständigkeit des Logikkalküls (On the Completeness of the Calculus of Logic) (1929)
Known for: Gödel's incompleteness theorems, Gödel's completeness theorem, Gödel's constructible universe, Gödel metric, Gödel logic, Gödel–Dummett logic, Gödel's β function, Gödel numbering, Gödel operation, Gödel's speed-up theorem, Gödel's ontological proof, Gödel–Gentzen translation, Von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel set theory, ω-consistent theory, the consistency of the continuum hypothesis with ZFC, Axiom of constructibility, Condensation lemma, Dialectica interpretation, Slingshot argument
Notable awards: Albert Einstein Award (1951), National Medal of Science (1974), ForMemRS (1968)
Spouse: Adele Nimbursky (married 1938)

About Kurt Godel

Described as the most important logician since Aristotle. He was known for his two incompleteness theorems.

Before Fame

He grew up in the Czech Republic, which was then Austria-Hungary, during World War I. He was proficient at college-level mathematics by the time he enrolled in the University of Vienna.

Achievement

He posited influential ideas on the axioms of set theory, proof theory, classical logic, intuitionistic logic, and modal logic.

Family Life

His father Rudolf managed a textile factory. He married Adele Nimbursky.

Associations

He was good friends with Albert Einstein during their time at Princeton.

Information related to Kurt Gödel

  • Gödel machine - A Gödel machine is a theoretical self-improving computer program that solves problems in an optimal way. It uses a recursive self-improvement protocol in which it rewrites its own code when it can prove the new code provides a more optimal strategy.
  • Gödel Prize - The Gödel Prize is an annual prize for outstanding papers in the area of theoretical computer science, given jointly by European Association for Theoretical Computer Science and the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computational Theory.
  • Original proof of Gödel's completeness theorem - The proof of Gödel's completeness theorem given by Kurt Gödel in his doctoral dissertation of 1929 is not easy to read today; it uses concepts and formalisms that are no longer used and terminology that is often obscure.
  • Austrian logicians
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  • University of Notre Dame faculty
  • Analytic philosophers
  • Austrian emigrants to the United States
  • National Medal of Science laureates
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Latest information about Kurt Godel updated on January 21, 2021.

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