Motzkin, Theodore

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Motzkin, Theodore Gender: M
Theodore Samuel Motzkin
born on 26 March 1908 at 08:00 (= 08:00 AM )
Place Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Germany, 52n2911, 13e1934
Timezone CET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 05°14' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 15°14 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 03°25'


German-Israeli-American pioneering mathematician for whom the Motzkin transposition theorem, Motzkin numbers and the Fourier–Motzkin elimination are named. The quote "complete disorder is impossible," describing Ramsey theory is attributed to him.

He first developed the "double description" algorithm of polyhedral combinatorics and computational geometry. He also was the first to prove the existence of principal ideal domains that are not Euclidean domains. And Motzkin found the first explicit example of a nonnegative polynomial which is not sum of squares, known as the Motzkin polynomial.

Motzkin further published about diverse problems in algebra, graph theory, approximation theory, combinatorics, numerical analysis, algebraic geometry and number theory.

Motzkin grew up in Berlin and started studying mathematics at an early age as well, entering university when he was only 15. He received his Ph.D. in 1934 from the University of Basel under the supervision of Alexander Ostrowski.

In 1935, Motzkin was appointed to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, contributing to the development of mathematical terminology in Hebrew.

During World War II, he worked as a cryptographer for the British government.

In 1948, Motzkin moved to the United States. After two years at Harvard and Boston College, he was appointed at UCLA in 1950, becoming a professor in 1960. He worked there until his retirement.

Motzkin married Naomi Orenstein in Jerusalem. The couple had three sons. He died on 15 October 1970 at age 62.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Great Achievement 1934 (PhD)

Source Notes

Birth certificate in hand from Sy Scholfield, copy on file. 


  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three sons)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate
  • Vocation : Military : Other Military (Cryptographer)
  • Vocation : Science : Mathematics/ Statistics
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator