Derrick Henry Lehmer (February 23 1905–May 22 1991) was an American mathematician who refined Edouard Lucas' work in 1930s and obtained the Lucas-Lehmer test for Mersenne primes.
Lehmer was born in Berkeley, California, his father was Derrick Norman Lehmer, a professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley and his mother was Clara Eunice Mitchell.
He studied Physics and earned a Bachelor degree from University of California at Berkeley. He continued with graduate studies at University of Chicago.
During his studies at Berkeley, Derrick Henry Lehmer met Emma Markovna Trotskaia, a Russian student born in 1906, who was studying Engineering. Then she changed her major and earned a Bachelor degree in Mathematics from Berkeley in 1928. In the same year Derrick married Emma and they moved to Providence, Rhode Island, after Brown University offered him an instructorship.
Derrick Henry Lehmer received a Master's degree and a Ph.D. (1930), both from Brown University.
He was a National Research Fellow at California Institute of Technology and Stanford University from 1930 to 1932.
He worked at Lehigh University from 1934 until 1940. For one year (1938-1939) the couple went to Cambridge, England on a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Lehmers had two children and they returned to USA by sea just before the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic.
In 1940 Derrick Henry Lehmer accepted a position in the Mathematics Department of University of California at Berkeley. He continued working there until 1972, the year he became professor emeritus.
In 1945-1946 Derrick Henry Lehmer worked on ENIAC, the first electronic computer in the United States.
Derrick Henry Lehmer died in Berkeley on 22nd May, 1991.
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