Cahit Arf, Mathematicial Genius

Recognized For His Contributions To Mathematics, Cahit Arf Is One Of The Most Prominent Scientists In Recent Turkish History.

Ordinarius Professor Dr. Cahit Arf, who introduced the concepts of the Arf Rings, Arf Invariants and Arf Closures in mathematics, developed a deep interest in the field already as a child. Born in 1910 in Thessaloniki, then a part of the Ottoman Empire, Arf graduated from the Lycée de St. Louis in Paris. Later he returned to France on a Turkish state scholarship to study at the famous École Normale Supérieure, which has trained so many prominent scientists.
Arf’s doctoral dissertation, which he presented to the Department of Mathematics of Germany’s University of Göttingen, propelled him into the ranks of the world’s foremost mathematicians. Arf, who singlehandedly solved a number of theorems that had stumped numerous internationally recognized mathematicians, was promoted to professor in 1943 and professor ordinarius (the highest rank in the Turkish academic system) in 1955. Prof. Arf, who imbued the younger generation with a love of mathematics and whose name is synonymous with the field, died in 1997.

The recipient of numerous international awards in mathematics, Cahit Arf taught in the U.S. at Princeton University as well as at the Universities of Maryland and California. Arf, who also provided valuable service at several educational institutions in Turkey, primarily at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, is also among the founding members of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. (TÜBİTAK).