A Finnish Lorenz Lindelöf Scientific Award Medal
A Finnish Lorenz Lindelöf Scientific Award Medal - Bronze, engraver marked "W. RVNEBERG", obverse illustrating the right-facing bust of Lorenz Lindelöf, surrounded by the inscription "LORENZ LINDELÖF NATVS DIE XII NOVEMBRIS MDCCCXXVII" (1827), reverse illustrating a branch of laurel leaves at the left and a branch of oak leaves at the right, inscribed in the centre "SECRETARIO SVO QVADRAGENARIO SOCIETAS SCIENTIAS FENNIAE / DIE XIII NOVEMBRIS MCMVII" (1907), 56.5 mm, oxidation spots on the obverse, near extremely fine Footnote: Leonard Lorenz Lindelöf (November 13, 1827 - March 3, 1908) spoke Finnish, Swedish, Russian and German. His father Leonard Lorenz was professor of mathematics in Helsingfors from 1857 to 1874. Helsingfors (today Helsinki) was controlled by Sweden and Russia at various times in its history. Finland had been ceded to Russia in 1809. At the time that time, Lindelöf's father was appointed professor of mathematics at the university, the main building of the university on Senate Square had recently been completed. Helsingfors was a town of only 20,000 at this time and under Russian control. By the time that Lindelöf went to study mathematics at Helsingfors University in 1887, his father was no longer the professor there. The city was still under Russian control but it had undergone a rapid expansion and by then had a population of 60,000. Lindelöf spent the year 1891 in Stockholm, and the years 1893-94 in Paris returning to Helsingfors where he graduated in 1895. He then taught there as a docent, visiting Göttingen in 1901. He returned to Helsingfors where he became assistant professor in 1902, becoming a full professor the following year. Helsinki was still under Russian control and indeed the Russians had implemented a policy of Russification, in reply to the national movements which had arisen. By 1904 the rapidly growing city had a population of 111,000 and was the centre of activists working for an independent Finland. This was proclaimed in 1917. Lindelöf remained as professor of mathematics in Helsinki until he retired in 1938. It was a time of rapid economic growth for the new country and the university flourished and rapidly expanded. Lindelöf supported his new country undertaking his university duties with great enthusiasm. From 1907, he served on the editorial board of Acta Mathematica. Lindelöf's first work in 1890 was on the existence of solutions for differential equations. It is an outstanding paper. Then he worked on analytic functions, applying results of Mittag-Leffler in a study of the asymptotic investigation of Taylor series. In particular, he was interested in the behaviour of such functions in the neighbourhood of singular points. He considered analogues of Fourier series and applied them to gamma functions. He also wrote on conformal mappings. Later in his life, Lindelöf gave up research to devote himself to teaching and writing textbooks. Another important role which Lindelöf played in Finland was the encouragement of the study of the history of mathematics in that country. For his outstanding contributions to Scandinavian mathematics, he was honoured by the universities of Uppsala, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki.