Abraham Robinson
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Abraham Robinson  

Born  Waldenburg (Wałbrzych), German Empire 
October 6, 1918
Died  April 11, 1974 New Haven, Connecticut 
(aged 55)
Fields  Mathematics 
Institutions  University of California, Los Angeles, Yale University 
Alma mater  Hebrew University, University of London 
Doctoral advisor  Paul Dienes 
Doctoral students  Azriel Lévy, Peter Winkler, A. H. Lightstone 
Known for  Nonstandard analysis 
Influences  Gottfried Leibniz, Abraham Fraenkel 
Abraham Robinson (born Robinsohn; October 6, 1918 – April 11, 1974) was a mathematician who is most widely known for development of nonstandard analysis, a mathematically rigorous system whereby infinitesimal and infinite numbers were incorporated into mathematics.
Contents
Biography
He was born to a Jewish family with strong Zionist beliefs, in Waldenburg, Germany, which is now Wałbrzych, in Poland. In 1933, he emigrated to British Mandate of Palestine, where he earned a first degree from the Hebrew University. Robinson was in France when the Nazis invaded during World War II, and escaped by train and on foot, being alternately questioned by French soldiers suspicious of his German passport and asked by them to share his map, which was more detailed than theirs. While in London, he joined the Free French Air Force and contributed to the war effort by teaching himself aerodynamics and becoming an expert on the airfoils used in the wings of fighter planes.
After the war, Robinson worked in London, Toronto, and Jerusalem, but ended up at University of California, Los Angeles in 1962.
Work in model theory
He become known for his approach of using the methods of mathematical logic to attack problems in analysis and abstract algebra. He "introduced many of the fundamental notions of model theory".^{1} Using these methods, he found a way of using formal logic to show that there are selfconsistent nonstandard models of the real number system that include infinite and infinitesimal numbers. Others, such as Wilhelmus Luxemburg, showed that the same results could be achieved using ultrafilters, which made Robinson's work more accessible to mathematicians who lacked training in formal logic. Robinson's book Nonstandard Analysis was published in 1966. Robinson was strongly interested in the history and philosophy of mathematics, and often remarked that he wanted to get inside the head of Leibniz, the first mathematician to attempt to articulate clearly the concept of infinitesimal numbers.
While at UCLA his colleagues remember him as working hard to accommodate PhD students of all levels of ability by finding them projects of the appropriate difficulty. He was courted by Yale, and after some initial reluctance, he moved there in 1967. He died of pancreatic cancer in 1974.
Notes
 ^ Hodges, W: "A Shorter Model Theory", page 182. CUP, 1997
Publications
 Robinson, Abraham (1963), Introduction to model theory and to the metamathematics of algebra, Amsterdam: NorthHolland, ISBN 9780720422221, MR 0153570
 Robinson, Abraham (1977) [1956], Keisler, H. Jerome, ed., Complete theories, Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics (2nd ed.), Amsterdam: NorthHolland, ISBN 9780720406900, MR 0472504
 Robinson, Abraham (1979), Keisler, H. Jerome, ed., Selected papers of Abraham Robinson. Vol. I Model theory and algebra, Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300020717, MR 533887
 Robinson, Abraham (1979), Luxemburg, W. A. J.; Körner, S., eds., Selected papers of Abraham Robinson. Vol. II Nonstandard analysis and philosophy, Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300020724, MR 533888
 Robinson, Abraham (1979), Young, A. D., ed., Selected papers of Abraham Robinson. Vol. III Aeronautics, Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300020731, MR 533889
 Robinson, Abraham (1996) [1966], Nonstandard analysis, Princeton Landmarks in Mathematics (2nd ed.), Princeton University Press, ISBN 9780691044903, MR 0205854
See also
References
 J. W. Dauben, Abraham Robinson: The Creation of Nonstandard Analysis, A Personal and Mathematical Odyssey, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998
External links
 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Abraham Robinson", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
 Abraham Robinson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
 Abraham Robinson — Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences


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