W. V. D. Hodge
Sir William Vallance Douglas Hodge (17 June 1903 – 7 July 1975) was a Scottish mathematician, specifically a geometer. His discovery of far-reaching topological relations between algebraic geometry and differential geometry—an area now called Hodge theory and pertaining more generally to Kähler manifolds—has been a major influence on subsequent work in geometry.
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- The last thirty years [1925 to 1955] have seen an enormous improvement in the position of geometry as a branch of mathematics, or, rather, have seen the re-integration of geometry into the main fabric of mathematics. Indeed, one can go further and say that with the restoration of geometry to its rightful place in the mathematical scheme the process of fragmentation which had been doing so much harm to mathematics has been reversed, and we may look forward to the day in which there are no longer analysts, algebraists, geometers and so on, but simply mathematicians. Mathematical research has two aspects, motivation and technique, and when the latter gains control the result is apt to be excessive specialisation. The revolution of geometrical thought, and the reinstatement of geometry as one of the major mathematical disciplines, have helped to bring about a unification of mathematics which we may justly regard as one of the major contributions of the last quarter century to the subject.
- W. V. D. Hodge, Changing Views of Geometry. Presidential Address to the Mathematical Association, 14th April, 1955, The Mathematical Gazette 39 (329) (1955), 177-183.
Quotes about Hodge
- Hodge's work was in the great tradition of Riemann and Poincaré but his more immediate inspiration came from the work of Lefschetz, for whom he had a tremendous admiration.
- Obituary. The Times.