Abraham Robinson Biography

Abraham Robinson was a famous mathematician. Read on to know more about Abraham Robinson’s profile, childhood, life and timeline in this biography.

Abraham Robinson

Quick Facts

Gender: Male
Birthday: 06 October 1918
Died: 11 April 1974
Nationality: American
Sun Sign: Libra
Education: University of London, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Awards: Brouwer Medal, Sterling Professor

Abraham Robinson was a famous mathematician who developed the rigorous system of non-standard analysis through which the infinitesimal and infinite numbers were incorporated into mathematics. This great mathematician endured through the worst political situations of all-time, the war and ethnic repression etc. The greatness of this mathematician lies in the fact that he developed his mathematical skills even though he came across many difficulties in his life.

Early Life & Career

Robinson was born into a Jewish family in Waldenburg. He migrated to British mandate of Palestine in 1933 and enrolled in the Hebrew University. He completed his first degree there. During the Nazi invasion in the course of World War II, Robinson was in France and he escaped on foot and also by train. He was questioned by French soldiers for he had a German passport. He then travelled to London, where he joined the Free French Air Force and learnt the aerodynamics. He became as expert in airfoils that were used in the fighter plane wings. After the World War II, Robinson worked in Toronto, London and Jerusalem.
Robinson used methods of mathematical logic to solve problems in abstract algebra and mathematical analysis. He took a doctorate degree in 1949 from the Hebrew University ‘The metamathematics of algebraic systems’, published in 1951 was his first book. In 1956 he published ‘Complete Theories’, written to study the properties of model-completeness and bounding transform. He applied the concepts of model-completeness and bounding transform to the elementary theories of certain mathematical structures. In 1961 Robinson introduced his most famous invention, non-standard analysis. Robinson joined the Royal College of Aeronautics as a teacher. He then moved to universities in Canada, Israel, finally reaching the United States. He served as a Sterling Professor of Mathematics at Yale University and held this position until his death. Robinson died in New Haven, Connecticut on 11 April1974, aged 55.

Major Works

Non-standard Analysis
The metamathematics of algebraic systems
‘Complete Theories’

Legacy and Contributions

Robinson was known for expertise in almost all areas of mathematics. His most important contribution was in the domain of ‘model theory’. His special interest however, was in applied mathematics and his treatises have explained the manner mathematics can be applied in aerodynamics.


1918: Robinson was born on October 6 in Waldenburg, Germany, which is now in Poland.
1933: He immigrated to Palestine and got his first degree from the Hebrew University.
1935: Robinson completed his schooling and began studying mathematics under Fraenkel and Levitzki.
1939: After graduation, a scholarship was awarded to him, which allowed him to study at Sorbonne in Paris.
1941: He became a Scientific Officer in the Royal Establishment at Farnborough.
1945: He was sent to Germany.
1946: The College of Aeronautics at Cranfield appointed him a senior lecturer. The same year he was awarded a Master’s Degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
1949: He received a Ph.D. from the London University.
1957: Robinson was made the chairman of Mathematics Department in the Hebrew University.
1962: He took up the professorship in Mathematics and Philosophy in the University of California, Los Angeles.
1967: He went to the Yale University as Professor in Mathematics.
1971: He changed his chair to the Sterling Professor of Mathematics at Yale.
1973: He was diagnosed of having pancreatic cancer.
1974: He died on April 11.

Citation Information

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Abraham Robinson Biography


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Last Updated

June 18, 2019

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