Story: Physics, chemistry and mathematics

Alexander Aitken at the 1954 Amsterdam International Congress of Mathematicians

Alexander Aitken at the 1954 Amsterdam International Congress of Mathematicians

Alexander Aitken performs an outstanding feat of mental arithmetic at the 1954 Amsterdam International Congress of Mathematicians. Aitken, originally from Dunedin, spent most of his career at the mathematics department of Edinburgh University. He was famous for public performances involving difficult calculations and his own astounding mathematical memory. The MC is Willem 'Wim' Klein, a Dutch calculating genius, who made a living as a public performer and later worked for CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research).

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Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
Photograph by Aart Klein

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How to cite this page:

Rebecca Priestley, 'Physics, chemistry and mathematics - New Zealand mathematicians and chemists overseas', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/43368/alexander-aitken-at-the-1954-amsterdam-international-congress-of-mathematicians (accessed 7 August 2020)

Story by Rebecca Priestley, published 22 Oct 2014