Hans Heinrich Wilhelm Magnus known as Wilhelm Magnus (February 5, 1907 in Berlin, Germany – October 15, 1990 in New Rochelle, New York) was a German-American mathematician. He made important contributions in combinatorial group theory, Lie algebras, mathematical physics, elliptic functions, and the study of tessellations.


In 1931, Magnus received his PhD from the University of Frankfurt, in Germany. His thesis, written under the direction of Max Dehn, was entitled Über unendlich diskontinuierliche Gruppen von einer definierenden Relation (der Freiheitssatz).[1]

Magnus was a faculty member in Frankfurt from 1933 until 1938. He refused to join the Nazi Party and, as a consequence, was not allowed to hold an academic post during World War II. In 1947, he became a professor at the University of Göttingen.

In 1948, he emigrated to the United States to collaborate on the Bateman Manuscript Project as a co-editor, while a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology. In 1950, he was appointed professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, in New York University. He stayed there until 1973, when he moved to the Polytechnic Institute of New York, before retiring in 1978. Among his doctoral students are Joan Birman, Martin Greendlinger, Edna Grossman, Herbert Keller, Seymour Lipschutz, and Kathryn F. Kuiken.[2]

See also

Selected works