Nicolaas Kuiper

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Nicolaas Kuiper (1975)

Nicolaas Hendrik "Nico" Kuiper (born June 28, 1920 in Rotterdam , † December 12, 1994 in Utrecht ) was a Dutch mathematician .

Kuiper studied at the University of Leiden from 1937 to 1941 , where he published his first mathematical work in 1941. He received his doctorate in classical differential geometry ( investigations on line geometry ) under Willem van der Woude at the University of Leiden in 1946 . In the late 1940s and early 1950s he was visiting the United States at the University of Michigan with Raoul Bott (where he also met Stephen Smale ) and at the Institute for Advanced Study (where he worked with Shiing-Shen Chern ).

He was then a professor at the Agricultural University (Landbouwhogeschool) in Wageningen (where he dealt with statistics for the design of breeding experiments) and from 1962 professor of mathematics at the University of Amsterdam . 1971 to 1985 he was director of IHES near Paris . After retiring in 1985, he initially stayed at IHES, but moved back to the Netherlands in 1991.

1970 to 1974 he was on the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union . The library at IHES is named after him.

Kuiper dealt with many areas of mathematics, but especially with differential geometry, differential topology and algebraic topology . He made important contributions to the theory of immersions (he introduced tight immersions in the early 1960s ) and the Nash embedding theorems . For example, he proved the central role of the Veronese surface in immersions of two-dimensional surfaces in five-dimensional Euclidean space. He is known for a theorem on the topology of Hilbert spaces (where he showed that the unit sphere is contractible), Kuiper's theorem , and for a test in statistics named after him.

He was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences . He was a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion and Knight of the French Legion of Honor . In 1984 he received an honorary doctorate from Brown University . In 1990 he was awarded the Gay Lussac Humboldt Prize . In the same year he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences .

Eduard Looijenga , Dirk Siersma and Floris Takens are among his doctoral students .


  • Kuiper: Analytical Geometry . 1959 (Dutch), English edition: Linear Algebra and Geometry 1962
  • Thomas Cecil, SS Chern (editor) Tight and taut submanifolds - papers in memory of Nicolaas H. Kuiper , MSRI Publications No. 32, Cambridge University Press 1997 (with list of publications)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 1969/70 he was again at the IAS
  2. ^ English: tight immersions . The term is a generalization of the term convexity.
  3. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 141.