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Alonzo Church (1903-1995)

Alonzo Church

A Short Biography

Alonzo Church was born on June 14, 1903 in Washington, D.C. and died Friday, August 11, 1995 in Hudson, Ohio at the age of 92. He was buried in Princeton Cemetery. Church was professor of mathematics at Princeton University from 1929 to 1967 when he became professor of mathematics and philosophy at UCLA. His work has been greatly influential in the fields of mathematical logic, recursion theory, and theoretical computer science. At the time of his death, Church was widely regarded as the greatest living logician in the world. His most well-remembered contributions are the following:
  • Church's Theorem (1936), showing that arithmetic is undecidable.
  • Church's Thesis, conjecturing that effective computation is equivalent to the notion of a "recursive" function.
  • The Lambda Calculus.