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Top World Mathematician Dies

April 20, 1998

CHICAGO (AP) _ Alberto Calderon, one of the world’s leading mathematicians whose work helped explain how heat and sound waves move, has died at age 77.

He died Thursday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Calderon, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, was a pioneer in modern mathematical analysis, a branch of mathematics that includes calculus and infinite series.

His work is crucial to understanding such functions as the transmission of heat, sound and electromagnetic waves.

In 1991, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. Earlier he received the Wolf Prize, the highest honor for mathematicians.

Calderon collaborated with his mentor, Antoni Zygmund, to found what mathematicians call the Chicago school of analysis.

Calderon trained as an engineer in his native Argentina. It was Zygmund, a world renowned mathematician, who recognized Calderon’s brilliance and brought him to this country in 1949 to study with him.

With unusual speed, Calderon completed his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1950. He taught at Ohio State University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton before returning to the faculty at the University of Chicago.

Calderon is survived by his wife, Alexandra Bellow, a retired mathematician at Northwestern University; two children from his first marriage; two sisters; two brothers; and two grandchildren.

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