Kurt GödelMathematicianBorn: 28 April 1906 Died: 14 January 1978 Birthplace: Brünn, AustriaHungary (now Brno, Czech Republic) Best known as: The Austrian mathematician known for his Incompleteness Theorem Mathematician Kurt Gödel made his fame in 1931 with the publication of his Incompleteness Theorem, also known as Gödel's Theorem. Written while Gödel was a young faculty member at the University of Vienna, his paper demonstrated that any axiomatic system of arithmetic would have true but unprovable statements  and that any formal system would therefore always be incomplete. This stomped all over the thenprevailing idea that the totality of mathematics could be neatly ordered with the correct set of axioms, or selfevident truths. Gödel's influence was also felt in science and in philosophy, which at the time was dominated by works such as Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead's Principia Mathematica (1913). Gödel left Austria and ended up joining the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in 1940. There he spent time with his friend Albert Einstein and continued to work on number theory and on revisions of his classic work Consistency of the Axiom of Choice and of the Generalized ContinuumHypothesis with the Axioms of Set Theory. Gödel's work on recursive functions puts him in the company of Alan Turing as an influential figure in the history of computer science. Extra credit: Gödel was a sensitive and fastidious man, and later in life he became so concerned with germs and food poisoning that he gave up eating and starved to death. Copyright © 19982014 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved. Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 
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