Church, Alonzo

*(b. 1903, Washington, DC, d. 1995, Hudson, OH, Ph.D. mathematics, Princeton, 1927). Church was a mathematician and a logician, and one of the founders of computer science. His work is of major importance in mathematical logic, recursion theory and in theoretical computer science.*

**Details:**

During 1927--29 he was a National Research Fellow at Harvard, Göttingen, and
Amsterdam. He was a faculty member at Princeton University from 1929 to 1967 and
at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1967 until 1990. He was
elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978. Church was a founder of the
Association and of The Journal of Symbolic Logic. He served as an Editor of the
JSL\/ in charge of the Reviews Section from the founding of the journal in 1936
until 1979. Church was a mathematician and a logician, and one of the founders
of computer science. His work is of major importance in mathematical logic,
recursion theory and in theoretical computer science. He created the lambda
calculus in the 1930's, which today is an invaluable tool for computer
scientists. He is best remembered for Church's Theorem (1936), which shows there
is no decision procedure for arithmetic. It appears in "An unsolvable problem in
elementary number theory", published in the American Journal of Mathematics 58
(1936), 345-363. His work extended that of Gödel.

Tadeusz Zawidzki