Tom M. Apostol
Tom Apostol 1965
Apostol in 1965
Born(1923-08-20)August 20, 1923
DiedMay 8, 2016(2016-05-08) (aged 92)
Alma materUniversity of Washington (B.S., M.S.)
University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisorDerrick Henry Lehmer
Doctoral studentsBasil Gordon
Abe Sklar

Tom Mike Apostol (/əˈpɑːsəl/ ə-POSS-əl;[1] August 20, 1923 – May 8, 2016)[2] was an American analytic number theorist and professor at the California Institute of Technology, best known as the author of widely used mathematical textbooks.

Life and career

Apostol was born in Helper, Utah. His parents, Emmanouil Apostolopoulos and Efrosini Papathanasopoulos, were Greek immigrants.[3] Apostolopoulos's name was shortened to Mike Apostol when he obtained his United States citizenship, and Tom Apostol inherited this Americanized surname.[3]

Apostol received his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering in 1944, Master's degree in mathematics from the University of Washington in 1946, and a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1948.[4] Thereafter Apostol was a faculty member at UC Berkeley, MIT, and Caltech. He was the author of several influential graduate and undergraduate level textbooks.

Apostol was the creator and project director for Project MATHEMATICS! producing videos which explore basic topics in high school mathematics. He helped popularize the visual calculus devised by Mamikon Mnatsakanian with whom he also wrote a number of papers, many of which appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly. Apostol also provided academic content for an acclaimed video lecture series on introductory physics, The Mechanical Universe.

In 2001, Apostol was elected in the Academy of Athens.[5][6] He received a Lester R. Ford Award in 2005,[7][8][9] in 2008,[10] and in 2010.[11] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[12]


  • Mathematical Analysis: A Modern Approach to Advanced Calculus, (1957) Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-00288-4
  • Introduction to Analytic Number Theory, (1976) Springer-Verlag, New York. ISBN 0-387-90163-9
  • Modular Functions and Dirichlet Series in Number Theory, (1990) Springer-Verlag, New York. ISBN 0-387-90185-X
  • Calculus, Volume 1, One-variable calculus, with an introduction to linear algebra, (1967) Wiley, ISBN 0-536-00005-0, ISBN 978-0-471-00005-1
  • Calculus, Volume 2, Multi-variable calculus and linear algebra with applications to differential equations and probability, (1969) Wiley, ISBN 0-471-00008-6
  • The Mechanical Universe: Mechanics and Heat, Advanced Edition ISBN 0-521-30432-6 (with Steven C. Frautschi, Richard P. Olenick, and David L. Goodstein)
  • New Horizons in Geometry ISBN 088385354X (with Mamikon Mnatsakanian)


  1. ^ Ramakrishnan, Dinakar (November 5, 2013). "Dinakar Ramakrishnan introduces Tom Apostol at the 23rd Annual Charles R. DePrima Memorial Undergraduate Mathematics Lecture" (video). California Institute of Technology.
  2. ^ "Tom M. Apostol, 1923–2016". Archived from the original on 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  3. ^ a b Albers, Donald J.; Apostol, Tom (1997). "An Interview with Tom Apostol". The College Mathematics Journal. 28 (4): 250–270. doi:10.2307/2687147. JSTOR 2687147.
  4. ^ Tom M. Apostol at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ «Professor Elected to Greek Academy», Caltech Media Relations.
  6. ^ "Members of the First Section". Academy of Athens. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  7. ^ Apostol, Tom; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon (2004). "Isoperimetric and Isoparametric Problems". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111 (2): 118–136. doi:10.2307/4145213. JSTOR 4145213.
  8. ^ Apostol, Tom; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon (2004). "A Fresh Look at the Method of Archimedes". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111 (6): 496–508. doi:10.2307/4145068. JSTOR 4145068.
  9. ^ Apostol, Tom; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon (2004). "Figures Circumscribing Circles". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111 (10): 853–863. doi:10.2307/4145094. JSTOR 4145094.
  10. ^ Apostol, Tom. M.; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon A. (2007). "Unwrapping Curves from Cylinders and Cones". Amer. Math. Monthly. 114 (5): 388–416. doi:10.1080/00029890.2007.11920429. JSTOR 27642220. S2CID 5953158.
  11. ^ Apostol, Tom M.; Mnatsakanian, Mamikon A. (2009). "New Insight into Cycloidal Areas". Amer. Math. Monthly. 116 (7): 598–611. CiteSeerX doi:10.4169/193009709x458573.
  12. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-03.