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Sydney Goldstein

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3 Dec 1903

Hull, England

22 Jan 1989

Belmont, Massachusetts, USA

Sydney Goldstein entered the University of Leeds in 1921 to study mathematics. He moved to St John's College, Cambridge graduating in 1925. Based on his very successful undergraduate career, Goldstein was awarded the Isaac Newton Studentship to continue undertaking research in applied mathematics under Harold Jeffreys .

His doctorate was awarded for a thesis on the Mathieu ( Emile Mathieu ) functions. He was appointed Rockefeller Research Fellow and spent a year working in Göttingen. In 1929 he was made a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge and, in the same year, he was appointed to a Lectureship in Mathematics at the University of Manchester.

Manchester had a profound influence on Goldstein. The influence of Reynolds and Lamb in fluid dynamics was still felt there and had a strong effect on Goldstein. He moved to Cambridge in 1931 and took over, on Lamb 's death, the editorship of Modern Developments in Fluid Dynamics, this important work appearing in 1938.

During the war years he worked on boundary layer theory at the National Physical Laboratory. Then in 1945, the University of Manchester made two inspiring appointments to the Department of Mathematics, Max Newman to the chair of Pure Mathematics and Goldstein to the chair of Applied Mathematics.

However in 1950, Goldstein who was of strong Jewish beliefs, accepted the chairmanship of the department of mathematics at Technion in Israel. His stay in Israel was not very long however, and in 1955 he accepted a chair of Applied Mathematics at Harvard. He had made a major role in setting up he academic framework of Technion but the administrative work was very heavy and led to his happily accepting the chair in the USA.

Goldstein's work in fluid dynamics is of major importance. He is described in as:

... one of those who most influenced progress in fluid dynamics during the 20th century.

He studied numerical solutions to steady-flow laminar boundary-layer equations in 1930. In 1935 he published work on the turbulent resistance to rotation of a disk in a fluid. His work was important in aerodynamics, a subject in which Goldstein was extremely knowledgeable.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland