#543

Most Influential Person

American mathematician of Hungarian origin

By AI Staff

Hungarian-born Peter Lax currently holds the title of Professor Emeritus at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Lax began working at NYU in 1951; prior to that, he worked on the Manhattan Project.

Lax’s family emigrated from Hungary in 1941 while he was a teenager, and at 17 he was able to study for three semesters at NYU (where he wound up acting as an instructor). He was drafted into the U.S. army and allowed to take classes at Texas A&M University, though his studies were again interrupted when he was sent to work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as the Manhattan Project (all before earning an undergraduate degree). He was finally able to return to NYU in 1946, earn his bachelor’s degree with pooled credits, and complete his PhD there in 1949.

As a mathematician, Lax is known for a wide body of work on partial differential equations, pure mathematics, fluid dynamics, shockwaves, and computing. In particular, Lax is famous for the “Lax conjecture” about hyperbolic polynomials, which he proposed in 1958, and which went unproven for over four decades.

Published works from Lax include Linear Algebra and Its Applications.

For his work, Lax has received numerous awards and honors, including membership with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the (American) National Academy of Sciences, as well as a Lester R. Ford Award, National Medal of Science, Wolf Prize, Abel Prize, and fellowship with the American Mathematical Society.

**Featured in Top Influential Mathematicians Today**

According to Wikipedia, Peter David Lax is a Hungarian-born American mathematician and Abel Prize laureate working in the areas of pure and applied mathematics. Lax has made important contributions to integrable systems, fluid dynamics and shock waves, solitonic physics, hyperbolic conservation laws, and mathematical and scientific computing, among other fields.

- Hyperbolic systems of conservation laws II (1957) (2718)
- On Upstream Differencing and Godunov-Type Schemes for Hyperbolic Conservation Laws (1983) (2623)
- Integrals of Nonlinear Equations of Evolution and Solitary Waves (1968) (2085)
- Hyperbolic Systems of Conservation Laws and the Mathematical Theory of Shock Waves (1987) (1903)
- Systems of conservation laws (1960) (1875)
- Weak solutions of nonlinear hyperbolic equations and their numerical computation (1954) (1677)
- Difference schemes for hyperbolic equations with high order of accuracy (1964) (631)
- Proof of a conjecture of P. Erdös on the derivative of a polynomial (1944) (599)
- Hyperbolic systems of conservation laws (2006) (588)
- Systems of conservation equations with a convex extension. (1971) (587)
- Survey of the stability of linear finite difference equations (1956) (532)
- Shock Waves and Entropy (1971) (509)
- Development of Singularities of Solutions of Nonlinear Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations (1964) (508)
- Solution of Two-Dimensional Riemann Problems of Gas Dynamics by Positive Schemes (1998) (439)
- Local boundary conditions for dissipative symmetric linear differential operators (1960) (380)
- Asymptotic solutions of oscillatory initial value problems (1957) (380)
- Scattering Theory for Automorphic Functions. (1967) (341)
- The Small Dispersion Limit of the Korteweg-deVries Equation. I (1982) (339)
- Decay of solutions of systems of nonlinear hyperbolic conservation laws (1970) (334)
- The asymptotic distribution of lattice points in Euclidean and non-Euclidean spaces (1982) (301)
- CBMS-NSF REGIONAL CONFERENCE SERIES IN APPLIED MATHEMATICS (2010) (292)
- Periodic solutions of the KdV equation (2010) (282)
- A simple one-dimensional model for the three-dimensional vorticity equation (1985) (275)
- The small dispersion limit of the Korteweg‐de Vries equation. III (1983) (208)
- Exponential decay of solutions of the wave equation in the exterior of a star-shaped obstacle (1962) (207)
- Translation invariant spaces (1959) (200)
- Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives (2000) (187)
- Theory of functions of a real variable (1959) (181)
- Almost Periodic Solutions of the KdV Equation (1976) (166)
- On cauchy's problem for hyperbolic equations and the differentiability of solutions of elliptic equations (1955) (137)
- On stability for difference schemes; a sharp form of gårding's inequality (1966) (136)
- A stability theorem for solutions of abstract differential equations, and its application to the study of the local behavior of solutions of elliptic equations (1956) (133)
- Symmetrizable linear transformations (1954) (128)
- Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations (2018) (122)
- [71-1] Systems of conservation equations with a convex extension, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 68 (1971), 1686–1688 (1986) (114)
- On matrices whose real linear combinations are non-singular (1965) (111)
- Nonlinear hyperbolic equations (1953) (110)
- On Finite-Difference Approximations and Entropy Conditions for Shocks (2015) (97)
- THE FORMATION AND DECAY OF SHOCK WAVES (1972) (96)
- The Generation and Propagation of Oscillations in Dispersive Initial Value Problems and Their Limiting Behavior (1993) (95)
- Scattering Theory for Dissipative Hyperbolic Systems (1973) (89)
- The computation of discontinuous solutions of linear hyperbolic equations (1978) (85)
- Decaying modes for the wave equation in the exterior of an obstacle (1969) (82)
- On dispersive difference schemes. I (1988) (82)
- On nonlinear partial differential equations with two independent variables (1949) (81)
- On the stability of difference schemes (1962) (78)
- Dispersive approximations in fluid dynamics (1991) (75)
- Boundary value problems for first order operators (1965) (74)
- Scattering Theory for the Acoustic Equation in an Even Number of Space Dimensions (1972) (71)
- Translation representations for automorphic solutions of the wave equation in non‐euclidean spaces. I (1984) (67)
- A phragmén-lindelöf theorem in harmonic analysis and its application to some questions in the theory of elliptic equations (1957) (65)
- Accuracy and Resolution in the Computation of Solutions of Linear and Nonlinear Equations (1978) (64)
- Recent Mathematical Methods in Nonlinear Wave Propagation (1996) (64)
- Stability of Difference Schemes (2013) (64)
- Convex Entropies and Hyperbolicity for General Euler Equations (1998) (62)
- Differential Equations, Difference Equations and Matrix Theory (2015) (60)
- On the stability of difference approximations to solutions of hyperbolic equations with variable coefficients (1961) (57)
- The multiplicity of eigenvalues (1982) (56)
- Positive schemes for solving multi-dimensional hyperbolic systems of conservation laws II (2003) (53)
- On dispersive difference schemes (1986) (50)
- IX. Parabolic Equations (1955) (49)
- THE PROPAGATION OF DISCONTINUITIES IN WAVE MOTION. (1956) (49)
- The zero dispersion limit for the Korteweg-deVries KdV equation. (1979) (49)
- The scattering of sound waves by an obstacle (1977) (48)
- Mathematics and computing (1986) (47)
- The zero dispersion limit, a deterministic analogue of turbulence (1991) (46)
- A logrithmic bound on the location of the poles of the scattering matrix (1972) (46)
- Hyperbolic difference equations: a review of the courant-friedrichs-lewy paper in the light of recent developments (1967) (44)
- On a degenerate elliptic‐parabolic equation occurring in the theory of probability (1971) (40)
- Scattering Theory for Automorphic Functions. (AM-87) (1977) (39)
- The Initial Value Problem for Nonlinear Hyperbolic Equations in Two Independent Variables (1954) (37)
- On the discriminant of real symmetric matrices (1998) (37)
- An example of huygens' principle (1978) (37)
- The paley-wiener theorem for the radon transform (1970) (36)
- Conditions for the construction of multi-point total variation diminishing difference schemes (1986) (35)
- Gibbs Phenomena (2006) (34)
- Translation representations for the solution of the non‐euclidean wave equation (1979) (32)
- Remarks on the preceding paper (1957) (32)
- Decay of Solutions of Systems of Hyperbolic Conservation Laws (2011) (31)
- Trace formulas for the schroedinger operator (1994) (31)
- Solution of a two-dimensional Cochlea model with fluid viscosity (1988) (29)
- A HAMILTONIAN APPROACH TO THE KdV AND OTHER EQUATIONS (1977) (29)
- Correction to “On matrices whose real linear combinations are nonsingular” (1966) (27)
- Writing mathematics well (1987) (26)
- From Cardinals to Chaos: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Stanislaw Ulam (1989) (26)
- Change of Variables in Multiple Integrals II (1999) (26)
- Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations and Computing (1969) (25)
- The acoustic equation with an indefinite energy form and the Schrödinger equation (1967) (24)
- Approximation of measure preserving transformations (1971) (24)
- The ergodic character of sequences of pedal triangles (1990) (23)
- Complex Proofs of Real Theorems (2011) (23)
- The Zero Dispersion Limit for the KdV Equation (1984) (23)
- Outline of a theory of the KdV equation (1996) (22)
- Existence of solutions (2006) (22)
- A Random Choice Finite-difference Scheme for Hyperbolic Conservation Laws (2015) (22)
- On the scattering frequencies of the laplace operator for exterior domains (1972) (22)
- The wave equation in exterior domains (1962) (22)
- Advances in deterministic and stochastic analysis (2007) (19)
- Generators of a Picard modular group in two complex dimensions (2009) (19)
- On Symmetrizable Differential Operators (1986) (19)
- The Flowering of Applied Mathematics in America (1989) (19)
- A short path to the shortest path (1995) (18)
- On the nation of hyperbolicity (1980) (18)
- The differentiability of Pólya's function (1973) (16)
- Solution of a Two-Dimensional Cochlea Model Using Transform Techniques (1985) (16)
- Reciprocal extremal problems in function theory (1955) (16)
- Calculus with applications and computing (1976) (15)
- The scope of the energy method (1960) (15)
- Almost periodic behavior of nonlinear waves (1975) (15)
- On the existence of Green’s function (1952) (14)
- An explicit fundamental domain for the Picard modular group in two complex dimensions (2005) (13)
- Calculus With Applications (1989) (13)
- Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations (1965) (12)
- Cauchy's problem for non-linear hyperbolic differential equations in two independent variables (1955) (12)
- THE ASYMPTOTIC DISTRIBUTION OF LATTICE POINTS (1981) (12)
- The quotient of exponential polynomials (1948) (12)
- On sums of squares (1978) (11)
- A local paley‐wiener theorem for the radon transform of L2 functions in a non‐euclidean setting (1982) (10)
- Mathematics and physics (2007) (9)
- Multivariable Calculus with Applications (2018) (9)
- An inequality for functions of exponential type (1963) (9)
- Translation representations for automorphic solutions of the wave equation in non-Euclidean spaces; the case of finite volume (1985) (9)
- Selected Papers (2001) (8)
- The Soul of Mathematics (1986) (8)
- Nonlinear partial differential equations in applied science : proceedings of the U.S.-Japan seminar, Tokyo, 1982 (1983) (8)
- OSCILLATORY SOLUTIONS OF PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL AND DIFFERENCE EQUATIONS (1988) (7)
- Lectures on hyperbolic partial differentialequations (1963) (7)
- On symmetrizing hyperbolic differential equations (1987) (7)
- Analysis of a Picard modular group. (2006) (7)
- Our lives: encounters of a scientist (2004) (7)
- The Radon transform and translation representation (2001) (6)
- John von Neumann: The early years, the years at Los Alamos, and the road to computing (2014) (6)
- Mathematics and its applications (1986) (6)
- Waves and rays (2006) (6)
- A Hamiltonian Approach to the K-dV and Other Equations (1978) (5)
- Introduction to “High Resolution Schemes for Hyperbolic Conservation Laws” (1997) (5)
- Scaling laws and vanishing viscosity limits in turbulence theory (2007) (5)
- The Future of Differential Equations (2000) (4)
- In Praise of Calculus... (1984) (4)
- On the Regularity of Spectral Densities (1963) (4)
- On the factorization of matrix‐valued function (1976) (4)
- Science and computing (1989) (3)
- Mathematical aspects of production and distribution of energy : [proceedings of the Symposium in Applied Mathematics of the American Mathematical Society, held in San Antonio, Texas, January 20-21, 1976] (1977) (3)
- Scattering theory for domains with non-smooth boundaries (1978) (3)
- Major incident pre-hospital care (2015) (3)
- Shock Waves, Increase of Entropy and Loss of Information (2015) (3)
- A remark on the method of orthogonal projections (1951) (3)
- The translation representation theorem (1981) (3)
- Recent advances in partial differential equations, Venice 1996 : proceedings of a conference in honor of the 70th birthdays of Peter D. Lax and Louis Nirenberg : June 10-14, 1996, Venice, Italy (1997) (2)
- BULLETIN (New Series) OF THE AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY (2005) (2)
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (2007) (2)
- Wave motion : theory, modelling, and computation : proceedings of a conference in honor of the 60th birthday of Peter D. Lax (1987) (2)
- Differential equations : La Pietra 1996 : Conference on Differential Equations marking the 70th birthdays of Peter Lax and Louis Nirenberg, July 3-7, 1996, Villa La Pietra, Florence, Italy (1999) (2)
- A curious functional equation (2008) (2)
- Paul Roesel Garabedian (1927-2010) (2014) (1)
- Review: G. E. Forsythe and P. C. Rosenbloom, Numerical analysis and partial differential equations (1959) (1)
- Olga Arsen ′ evna Oleı̆nik ( 1925 – 2001 ) (2002) (1)
- On a Class of K-p.d. and Non-K-p.d. Operators and Operator Equations* (2003) (1)
- 7. THE SCATTERING MATRIX FOR THE AUTOMORPHIC WAVE EQUATION (1977) (1)
- Almost Periodic Behavior of Nonlinear Waves**Results obtained at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, under Contract AT(11–1)-3077 with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. (1976) (1)
- Painting and mathematics (2015) (1)
- Rethinking the Lebesgue Integral (2009) (1)
- Bifurcation of Periodic Solutions for a Semilinear Wave Equation (1979) (1)
- On a Class of K-p.d. and Non-K-p.d. Operators and Operator Equations* (2003) (1)
- My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdös, by Bruce Schechter; The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth, by Paul Hoffman (1999) (1)
- The reception of the theory of distributions (2004) (1)
- 2. AN ABSTRACT SCATTERING THEORY (1977) (0)
- The Cauchy Integral Theorem (2007) (0)
- Louis Nirenberg (1925–2020) (2021) (0)
- Coda: Transonic airfoils and SLE (2011) (0)
- Growth and decay (1976) (0)
- Line and surface integrals (2017) (0)
- Fallacies, Flaws, And Flimflam (1998) (0)
- Hyperbolic equations with constant coefficients (2006) (0)
- Finite difference approximation to hyperbolic equations (2006) (0)
- VI.83 Richard Courant (2010) (0)
- Population dynamics and chemical reactions (1976) (0)
- 5. THE AUTOMORPHIC WAVE EQUATIONS (1977) (0)
- Rotation and the trigonometric functions (1976) (0)
- The Borel-Carathéodory inequality (2011) (0)
- §4. THE LAPLACE-BELTRAMI OPERATOR FOR THE MODULAR GROUP (1977) (0)
- Complex dynamics: The Fatou-Julia-Baker theorem (2011) (0)
- Huygens’ principle for the wave equation on odd-dimensional spheres (2006) (0)
- 6. INCOMING AND OUTGOING SUBSPACES FOR THE AUTOMORPHIC WAVE EQUATION (1977) (0)
- Finite speed of propagation of signals (2006) (0)
- BOUNDARY PROBLEMS LEADING TO ORTHOGONAL POLYNOMIALS IN SEVERAL VARIABLES (2007) (0)
- Review: Numbers and Functions: From a Classical Experimental Mathematicians Point of View, American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 2012, 504 pp., ISBN 978-0821887950, $58. by Victor H. Moll (2014) (0)
- list of Chauvenet Prize winners (2013) (0)
- Hyperbolic equations with variable coefficients (2006) (0)
- Functions and Continuity (2014) (0)
- LIST OF SYMBOLS (1977) (0)
- Review: Necia G. Cooper, From cardinals to chaos: Reflections on the life and legacy of Stan Ulam (1990) (0)
- Erratum to: Boundary Value Problems for First Order Operators (1986) (0)
- Applications to motion (2017) (0)
- Partial differential equations (2012) (0)
- 9. THE SELBERG TRACE FORMULA (1977) (0)
- UNIFORMLY CONVERGENT 3-TGFEM VS LSFEM FOR SINGULARLY PERTURBED CONVECTION-DIFFUSION PROBLEMS ON A SHISHKIN BASED LOGARITHMIC MESH (2014) (0)
- Methods for Integration (2014) (0)
- Major incidents: an overview (2018) (0)
- Correction to: Translation representation for the solution of the non-euclidean wave equation (1980) (0)
- The life of Richard Courant (2014) (0)
- The Theory of Differentiable Functions (2014) (0)
- Lectures on Combustion Theory (2017) (0)
- Raoul Bott as we knew him (2010) (0)
- Numbers and Functions: From a Classical Experimental Mathematicians Point of View. By Victor H. Moll (2014) (0)
- Recent advances in nonlinear partial differential equations and applications : conference in honor of Peter D. Lax and Louis Nirenberg on their 80th birthdays, June 7-10, 2006, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha at Palacio Lorenzana, Toledo, Spain (2007) (0)
- Spectra of Products and Numerical Ranges1 (2003) (0)
- [65-1] Boundary value problems for first order operators, (With Peter D. Lax), Comm. Pure Appl. Math., XVIII (1965), 355–388 (1986) (0)
- Lecture Series in Differential Equations. Session 8. Numerical Solutions. (1969) (0)
- Energy decay for star-shaped obstacles (2006) (0)
- The prime number theorem (2011) (0)
- Errata: On the Existence of Green's Function (1952) (0)
- [67-1] On symmetrizable differential operators, Proc. Symp. Pure Math., 10 (1967), Singular Integrals, ed. Alberto P. Calderon, A.M.S., 128–137, (with P.D. Lax). (1986) (0)
- Numbers and Limits (2014) (0)
- Thomas H. Wolff (1954–2000), Volume 48, Number 5 (2001) (0)
- Probability and its applications (1976) (0)
- 3. A MODIFIED THEORY FOR SECOND ORDER EQUATIONS WITH AN INDEFINITE ENERGY FORM (1977) (0)
- Banach algebras: The Gleason-Kahane-Żelazko theorem (2011) (0)
- On the accuracy of glimm's scheme (2000) (0)
- The Geometry of Numbers: Gaussian Integers, by Peter D. Lax (2000) (0)
- Applications of the Derivative (2014) (0)
- Writing Mathematics Well. By Leonard Gillman (1989) (0)
- Divergence and Stokes’ Theorems and conservation laws (2017) (0)
- On the Weak Convergence of Dispersive Difference Schemes (1986) (0)
- Recent methods for computing discontinuous solutions — A review (1979) (0)
- Approximation of Integrals (2014) (0)
- The Derivative and Differentiation (2014) (0)
- Liouville’s theorem in Banach spaces (2011) (0)
- Calculus With Applications, 2nd Edition (2020) (0)
- II. The Mathematics Curriculum (1967) (0)
- Analytical and numerical methods; advanced computer concepts (1991) (0)
- The beginnings of applied mathematics after the second world war (1998) (0)
- 8. THE GENERAL CASE (1977) (0)
- Mixed initial and boundary value problems (2006) (0)
- Pseudodifferential operators and energy inequalities (2006) (0)
- Others reasons for second opinions (2009) (0)
- Applied analysis/computational mathematics. Final report 1993 (1993) (0)
- More about differentiation (2017) (0)
- Vectors and matrices (2017) (0)

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Mathematics

#44

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#131

Historical Rank

Measure Theory

#49

World Rank

#81

Historical Rank

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