**History of Mathematics**

Volume: 44;
2020;
338 pp;
Hardcover

MSC: Primary 01;

**Print ISBN: 978-1-4704-4353-5
Product Code: HMATH/44**

List Price: $120.00

AMS Member Price: $96.00

MAA Member Price: $108.00

**Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4704-5515-6
Product Code: HMATH/44.E**

List Price: $120.00

AMS Member Price: $96.00

MAA Member Price: $108.00

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#### Supplemental Materials

# Meeting under the Integral Sign?: The Oslo Congress of Mathematicians on the Eve of the Second World War

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*Christopher D. Hollings; Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze*

This book examines the historically unique
conditions under which the International Congress of Mathematicians
took place in Oslo in 1936. This Congress was the only one on this
level to be held during the period of the Nazi regime in Germany
(1933–1945) and after the wave of emigrations from it. Relying heavily
on unpublished archival sources, the authors consider the different
goals of the various participants in the Congress, most notably those
of the Norwegian organizers, and the Nazi-led German delegation. They
also investigate the reasons for the absence of the proposed Soviet
and Italian delegations.

In addition, aiming to shed light onto the mathematical dimension
of the Congress, the authors provide overviews of the nineteen plenary
presentations, as well as their planning and development. Biographical
information about each of the plenary speakers rounds off the
picture. The Oslo Congress, the first at which Fields Medals were
awarded, is used as a lens through which the reader of this book can
view the state of the art of mathematics in the mid-1930s.

#### Readership

Undergraduate and graduate students and researchers interested in the history of the International Congress of Mathematicians and how politics can have an influence on the mathematical communication.

#### Table of Contents

# Table of Contents

## Meeting under the Integral Sign?: The Oslo Congress of Mathematicians on the Eve of the Second World War

- Cover ii3
- List of Figures ix10
- List of Tables xi12
- Preface xiii14
- Abbreviations xvii18
- Conventions for Transliteration from Cyrillic Characters xix20
- Part 1 . Introduction 122
- Part 2 . The Politics of the Congress 1940
- Chapter 2. The Norwegian Hosts: The Newcomer with Historical Traditions 2142
- 2.1. Prehistory of the ICM in Scandinavia 2142
- 2.2. 1928: Norwegians enter the international stage in new numbers 2647
- 2.3. The 1932 Zurich congress and the Norwegian bid for 1936 2849
- 2.4. The 1929 Abel celebrations in Oslo 3051
- 2.5. Setting up the organisation of the 1936 ICM 3253
- 2.6. Efforts to secure funding and advertise the event 3455
- 2.7. Promoting tourism in Norway 3758
- 2.8. Setting up the programme of plenary speakers 3960
- 2.9. The outlook and international ambitions of the organisers 4768
- 2.10. How Oslo superseded Princeton for one week 5980

- Chapter 3. The German Delegation: Swaying between Expansionism and Isolationism 6182
- Chapter 4. The Russian Withdrawal: Isolationism out of Fear and Ideology 89110
- Chapter 5. The Italian Case: Mathematics as a Victim of World Politics 103124
- Chapter 6. The Congress in the Norwegian Dailies 117138
- Chapter 7. International Mathematics Shortly Before and After the Second World War: A Glimpse Ahead and Back Again 127148

- Part 3 . The Mathematics of the Congress 141162
- Chapter 8. Assessing the Mathematics of the Congress 143164
- Chapter 9. The Plenary Lectures 159180
- 9.1. Evaluating the plenary lectures 159180
- 9.2. C. Størmer: “Programme for the quantitative discussion of electron orbits in the field of a magnetic dipole, with application to cosmic rays and kindred phenomena” 161182
- 9.3. R. Fueter: “The theory of regular functions of a quaternion variable” 163184
- 9.4. É. Cartan: “Some insights into the role of Sophus Lie’s theory of groups in the development of modern geometry” 165186
- 9.5. C. L. Siegel: “Analytic theory of quadratic forms” 169190
- 9.6. O. Veblen: “Spinors and projective geometry” 172193
- 9.7. J. Nielsen: “Some methods and results from the topology of surface transformations” 176197
- 9.8. E. Hecke: “Recent advances in the theory of elliptic modular functions” 178199
- 9.9. O. Neugebauer: “On pre-Greek mathematics and its position relative to the Greek” 180201
- 9.10. C. W. Oseen: “Problems of geometric optics” 183204
- 9.11. V. Bjerknes: “New lines in hydrodynamics” 185206
- 9.12. H. Hasse: “On the Riemann hypothesis in function fields” 188209
- 9.13. G. D. Birkhoff: “On the foundations of quantum mechanics” 192213
- 9.14. L. J. Mordell: “Minkowski’s theorems and hypotheses on linear forms” 194215
- 9.15. L. V. Ahlfors: “Geometry of Riemann surfaces” 197218
- 9.16. J. G. van der Corput: “Diophantine approximation” 202223
- 9.17. S. Banach: “The theory of operations and their significance for analysis” 204225
- 9.18. M. Fréchet: “Mathematical mélange” 208229
- 9.19. N. Wiener: “Gap theorems” 210231
- 9.20. Ø. Ore: “The decomposition theorems of algebra” 214235
- 9.21. The plenary lectures that were planned but did not take place 218239
- 9.22. The award of the first Fields Medals to Ahlfors and Douglas 225246

- Chapter 10. ICMI 231252
- Chapter 11. Conclusions Regarding the Mathematics of the Congress 235256

- Appendices 241262
- Appendix A. Norwegian Newspaper Items Relating to the Congress 243264
- A.1. Aftenposten, 13 July 1936, no. 346, pp.1+5 (signed by S.-L.) 243264
- A.2. Aftenposten, 14 July 1936, no. 348, p.3 245266
- A.3. Arbeiderbladet, 14 July 1936, no. 161, p.5 247268
- A.4. Tidens Tegn, 14 July 1936, no. 160, p.2 252273
- A.5. Aftenposten, 15 July 1936, no. 349 (morning issue), p.3 254275
- A.6. Aftenposten, 15 July 1936, no. 350 (regular issue), p.1 255276
- A.7. Arbeiderbladet, 16 July 1936, no. 163, p.13 255276
- A.8. Arbeiderbladet, 18 July 1936, no. 165, p.5 258279
- A.9. Tidens Tegn, 18 July 1936, no. 164, p.1 260281

- Appendix B. Letter from Heegaard to Engel, 24 July 1936 263284
- Appendix C. Congress Report from Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 9 August 1936 267288
- Appendix D. Lietzmann’s Unpublished Report on the Congress 271292
- Appendix E. Report by E. G. Kern, the Nazi functionary in Oslo, to Nazi headquarters in Berlin, 15 August 1936 285306
- Appendix F. Newspaper Profile of E. G. Kern, the Nazi functionary in Oslo, 4 December 1937 (with Størmer’s Annotation, and Commentary, and Ketil Kern’s Memoirs) 287308
- Appendix G. Transcription of Two Recommendations Made by the Subcommittee on Conferences to the Organizing Committee of the Planned 1940 ICM 295316
- Appendix H. Transcription of an Attachment to the Round Letter of the Organizing Committee of the Planned 1940 ICM, Listing the Mathematicians Invited 297318
- Bibliography 299320
- Name Index 323344
- Subject Index 331352

- Back Cover Back Cover1360