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Paul Joseph Cohen: From Being an Immigrant to the Mathematical Legend of the USA

Paul Joseph Cohen (1934-2007)

Paul Joseph Cohen was a famous mathematician of modern times. He was an American. Like all the Jewish background families of America, he too had an immigrant past.

Paul’s family is from Poland and was forced to leave their motherland due to their religious beliefs. Mr. Cohen is known for his contributions to mathematics like the axiom of choice and continuum hypothesis. 

Time and Place of Birth 

Joseph was born on 12th April 1934, in Long Branch of New Jersey of the United States. 

Paul Joseph Cohen Life history and Career  

Paul’s parents were Abraham Cohen and Minnie Cohen. He was the youngest child of his parents. Cohen spent his childhood in Brooklyn, New York. He showed his brilliance in maths early in his teenage years. Cohen studied in a local school in New York named Stuyvesant High School.

Paul Joseph Cohen became a graduate in 1950.  In the same year, Joseph took admission to Brooklyn College but didn’t get a degree and leave the college in between studies.

After that in 1954, he got his master’s degree from Chicago. In 1957 he became an instructor of maths at the University of Rochester. After a year he went to the Massachusetts Institute of technology. Again after a year, he switched to the institute for advanced studies, Princeton as a fellow.

Paul became an assistant professor of mathematics at Stanford University in 1961. After a year of it, he got the promotion as an associate and a research fellowship.

He was a participant in the international congress of mathematics held in Stockholm in 1962. During this trip, he met his future wife Christina Karls. They married on October 10 of 1963 and had three children.

In 1966 he published one of his major works set theory and continuum hypothesis. After that, he got a Fields medal in the same year for his work. Mr. Cohen is an honorable member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Paul Joseph Cohen was a foreign member of the London Mathematical Society. In 1972 at Stanford Joseph was named Marjorie Mhoo fair Professor in Quantitative science and he was the first person to be selected for this. In 2004 Mr. Cohen called his retirement but continued teaching at Stanford until his last breath. 

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Paul Joseph Cohen Death 

Paul Cohen died on 23rd March 2007, because of lung disease at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.

Contribution to mathematics 

Axiom of choice 

Axiom of choice is an axiom in which, in any collection of sets, one can construct a new set containing an element from each set in the original collection. 

Continuum hypothesis 

This hypothesis is about possible sizes of infinite sets. 

Interesting facts about Paul Joseph Cohen 

  • Apart from being a mathematician, you can say he is an amateur musician. He was a member of the Swedish Folk group and a good singer. Paul played the piano and violin very well. 
  • Mr. Cohen was a multilingual person. He had equal command on Swedish, German, French, Spanish, and Yiddish languages.  

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  • 1964      Bocher Memorial Prize 
  • 1966      Fields Medal
  • 1968     National Medal of Science for Mathematics and Computer Science   
  • 1969     Guggenheim fellowship of Natural Sciences, US and Canada
Paul Joseph Cohen Awards

Books written by Paul J. Cohen 

  • Set theory and continuum hypothesis 


How did Paul Cohen die? 

Because of Lung Disease 

What did Paul Cohen do?

He was an American Mathematician. 

Where was Paul Cohen born?

Long Beach, New Jersey, America.

Who won in Cohen vs California state?

Cohen, after his appeal to the supreme court.

See also 

Paul Cohen was an immigrant American Scientist. This country is best in this like sugar cubes in the water. Anybody can come and fulfill his dreams. 

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