Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (1903-1996)
mathematician, historian

Van der Waerden wrote a book that revolutionized twentieth-century algebra. The book, Moderne Algebra, was in part based on lectures by Emil Artin and Emmy Noether. In 1924, the 22-year-old Dutchman, having finished the university course at Amsterdam, arrived in Göttingen. There, wrote the Russian mathematician P. S. Alexandroff,
van der Waerden readily mastered the theories of Emmy Noether, enhanced them with findings of his own, and like no one else, promulgated her ideas.

Van der Waerden subsequently became one of the leading mathematicians of his century and wrote several important works in the history of mathematics, science, and astronomy. A surveys of his life and work is

Yvonne Dold-Samplonius, "In Memoriam: Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (1903-1996)," Historia Mathematica 24 (1997) 125-130.

Another tribute and a list of his publications is given in

Jaap Top and Lynne Walling, editors, "Bibliography of B. L. van der Waerden, Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, 4th series 12 (1994) 179-193.

Van der Waerden wrote one of the three well-known obituary-tributes of Emmy Noether. An English translation of it comprises Chapter 4 of

James W. Brewer and Martha K. Smith, editors, Emmy Noether: A Tribute to Her Life and Work, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1981.

Emmy Noether, Mentors & Colleagues
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