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This Day in History

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Today: April 23, 2014
J. Barkley Rosser

December 6, 1907

Mathematical Logician Rosser is Born

J. Barkley Rosser is born in Jaksonville, FL. In 1934 Rosser received a Ph.D. in logic from Princeton under the supervision of Alonso Church. Rosser was able to anticipate the potential of early computers in many areas of mathematics as well as the ultimate impact of logic on the future of computing. He contributed to the Church-Rosser theorem that identifies the outer limit of what is achievable in automated theorem proving and, therefore, plays the same role in computing science as the second law of thermodynamics in engineering.

Rosser taught at Cornell and the University of Wisconsin, served as a president of the Association of Symbolic Logic and SIAM. He died on September 5, 1989.