Wittenberg, Alexander Israël

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Wittenberg, Alexander Israël

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1926-1965

History

Alexander Israel Wittenberg (10 February 1926 - 19 December 1965) was a teacher, researcher and Professor of mathematics and mathematical education.
Wittenberg was born in Berlin in 1926 to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. The family escaped Germany immediately after the 1933 Nazi rise to power and found refuge in neighbouring France. In 1942 the Wittenberg family was forced to flee once again, this time to Switzerland. Although uprooted, Wittenberg continued pursuing his education and in 1957 completed his doctorate at the renowned Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) under the guidance of mathematicians Ferdinand Gonseth and Paul Bernays. During the post-war years Wittenberg taught math at several Swiss high schools, developed an interest in mathematical education and started his own family after marrying Marlyse Wittenberg, nee Marx.
In 1956 Wittenberg accepted the role of associate professor at the University of Laval in Quebec and relocated to Canada together with his young family. In 1963 he arrived at Toronto after being offered to join the newly established York University as a professor in the mathematics department. Proficient in German, French and English, he published his research in all three languages – altogether authoring five books and more than thirty articles, reviews and public addresses. As well, Wittenberg was an active participator in various contemporary debates regarding educational policies in North America and Europe – many times translating and informing different audiences about developments taking place in other countries. He was also actively engaged in non-academic discussions about high school and post-secondary education and advocated the crucial importance of advancing mathematical and scientific knowledge. In 1965 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died that same year at the age of 39.

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VIAF ID: 107081044 (Personal)

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2019-11-11 Created by Amir Lavie

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