Alfréd Rényi

(b. 3/30/21 Budapest, d. 2/1/70 Budapest)

Alfréd Rényi received a literary, rather than scientific, schooling in Budapest and Szeged. His studies were interrupted in 1944, when he was forced to a Nazi Labor Camp, but somehow managed to escape and even rescue his parents from the ghetto. After the war he finished his PhD studies in Szeged under Friedrich Riesz, also a famous Hungarian mathematician.  His scientific work covers almost all of mathematics, but he had an exceptionally great influence in analytical number theory and probability theory; he was the founder of the famous Hungarian Probability Theory School. But perhaps he is best remembered for proving the quasi Goldbach conjecture that every even integer is the sum of a prime and an almost prime number (one with only two prime factors). This is the closets any mathematician came to proving the famous, over 250 year old, still unproven Goldbach conjecture: any even integer greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two primes.

He is also remembered as the author of the anecdote:

“A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems.

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HOUSE OF HUNGARY is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

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