Wilhelm Ackermann

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Wilhelm Ackermann (March 29, 1896December 24, 1962) was a German mathematician and is most famous for the Ackermann function named after him, an important example in the theory of computation.

Ackermann was born on March 29, 1896 in Schönebecke (then Altena district, now part of Herscheid municipality), Germany, and received his doctoral degree in 1925 with his thesis Begründung des "tertium non datur" mittels der Hilbertschen Theorie der Widerspruchsfreiheit, which was a consistency proof of arithmetic without induction. From 1929 until 1948 he taught at the Arnoldinum high-school in Burgsteinfurt, and afterwards till 1961 in Lüdenscheid. He was also a corresponding member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften (Academy of Sciences) in Göttingen, and was an honorary professor at the Universität Münster (Westphalia).

In 1928 he wrote Principles of Theoretical Logic with David Hilbert, dealing with Entscheidungsproblem and also constructed consistency proofs for set theory (1937), full arithmetic (1940), type-free logic (1952) and a new axiomatization of set theory (1956). He wrote the book Solvable cases of the decision problem (North Holland, 1954).

Wilhelm Ackermann died in Lüdenscheid, Germany on December 24, 1962.

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