17 Facts About Lars Ahlfors


Lars Valerian Ahlfors was a Finnish mathematician, remembered for his work in the field of Riemann surfaces and his textbook on complex analysis.


Lars Ahlfors's father, Axel Ahlfors, was a professor of engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology.


The Ahlfors family was Swedish-speaking, so he first attended the private school Nya svenska samskolan where all classes were taught in Swedish.


Lars Ahlfors studied at University of Helsinki from 1924, graduating in 1928 having studied under Ernst Lindelof and Rolf Nevanlinna.


Lars Ahlfors assisted Nevanlinna in 1929 with his work on Denjoy's conjecture on the number of asymptotic values of an entire function.


Lars Ahlfors completed his doctorate from the University of Helsinki in 1930.


Lars Ahlfors worked as an associate professor at the University of Helsinki from 1933 to 1936.


Lars Ahlfors returned to Finland in 1938 to take up a professorship at the University of Helsinki.


The outbreak of war in 1939 led to problems although Lars Ahlfors was unfit for military service.


Lars Ahlfors was offered a position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich in 1944 and finally managed to travel there in March 1945.


Lars Ahlfors did not enjoy his time in Switzerland, so in 1946 he jumped at a chance to leave, returning to work at Harvard, where he remained until his retirement in 1977; he was William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics from 1964.


Lars Ahlfors was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1962 and again in 1966.


Lars Ahlfors was awarded the Wihuri Prize in 1968 and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 1981.


Lars Ahlfors served as the Honorary President of the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1986 at Berkeley, California, in celebration of his 50th year of the award of his Fields Medal.


Lars Ahlfors wrote several other significant books, including Riemann surfaces and Conformal invariants.


Lars Ahlfors made decisive contributions to meromorphic curves, value distribution theory, Riemann surfaces, conformal geometry, quasiconformal mappings and other areas during his career.


Lars Ahlfors died of pneumonia at the Willowwood nursing home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1996.