COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Colloquium: Reflections on the Life and Work of George Polya


4:10pm, Neill Hall 5W

Duane DeTemple

Abstract: I first became aware of George Pólya (1887-1985) when I started graduate work at Stanford University in the mid 1960s. Although he was then well into his seventies, Polya was still quite active in the mathematics department. In particular he gave wonderful lectures that illustrated the heuristics of problem solving, a topic that permeated his research and teaching throughout his life. Polya was a close friend and collaborator with my dissertation advisor, Max Schiffer, who spoke of Polya with considerable admiration. In this talk, I will relate some of the highlights of Polya’s career and work. I also hope to convey some sense of his delightful personality.