Famous Czech and Slovak Exiles of the 20-th Century
This year (2001) marked the 32nd anniversary of the death of Professor Dr. VACLAV HLAVATY, who was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20-th century. At the time of his death,( in January, 1969), his work was remembered by most of the media around the world. The University of Indiana, where he taught, named him in 1964 "Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics" with the acknowledgement that "This mathematical interpretation of the relativity theory belongs among the greatest scientific achievements of this century."
He published about 160 works and papers about differential geometry and relativity. In 1961 he undertook a world tour, because he was invited by 70 universities around the globe to lecture on his work.
For the Czechs and Slovaks who left their homeland after the communist coup in 1948, dr. Hlavaty was not only a great scientist but also an intellectual leader. He was one of the founders of the Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences in Washington(1958). He believed that the exiles must devote their energies first and foremost to cultural work and support, and to demonstrate how Czechoslovak cultural achievements in the past contributed to world culture.
He was elected President of the Society for Arts and Sciences ( SVU in Czech) in 1958, 1959, 1960 and again in 1964.
Dr. Hlavaty was not only a great scientist, but also a wonderful human being. He was interested in everyone's work; a friendly and humble man with a great sense of humor.
He died in the USA without ever being able to return to his homeland.
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