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Eric Temple Bell

Eric Temple Bell (1883 - 1960) was a mathematician born in Scotland who lived in the USA from 1903 until his death. He attended Stanford University and Columbia University and was on the faculty first at the University of Washington and later at the California Institute of Technology. He did research in number theory. He attempted -- not altogether successfully -- to make the traditional umbral calculus (understood at that time to be the same thing as the "symbolic method" of Blissard) logically rigorous. He is the eponym of the Bell numbers of combinatorics. (He is not the eponym of the "Bell curve", which apparently is so called because someone thought it looked like a bell.)

He wrote a book of biographical sketches titled Men of Mathematics[?], which is still in print.

He also wrote science fiction under the pseudonym John Taine[?].

External link

Eric Temple Bell (http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Bell)



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