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Joseph Fels Ritt (August 23, 1893–January 5, 1951) was an American mathematician at Columbia University in the early 20th century.

After beginning his undergraduate studies at City College, Ritt received his B.A. from George Washington University in 1913. He then earned a doctorate in mathematics from Columbia University in 1917 under the supervision of Edward Kasner. After doing calculations for the war effort in World War I, he joined the Columbia faculty in 1921. He served as department chair from 1942 to 1945, and in 1945 became the Davies Professor of Mathematics.[1][2] In 1932, George Washington University honored him with a Doctorate in Science,[3] and in 1933 he was elected to join the United States National Academy of Sciences.[1][2] He has 463 academic descendants listed in the Mathematics Genealogy Project, mostly through his student Ellis Kolchin.[4]

He is known for his work on characterizing the indefinite integrals that can be solved in closed form, for his work on the theory of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations, for beginning the study of differential groups, [1][2] and for the method of characteristic sets used in the solution of systems of polynomial equations.

See also

* Ritt theorem


1. ^ a b c O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Joseph Ritt", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, .
2. ^ a b c Smith, Paul A. (1956), Joseph Fels Ritt 1893–1951: A Biographical Memoir, United States National Academy of Sciences, .
3. ^ Lorch, E. R. (1951), "Obituary : Joseph Fels Ritt", Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 57: 307–318, doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1951-09529-4,


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