FEKETE, MICHAEL (1886–1957), Israel mathematician. Born at Zenta, Hungary, Fekete was associated with the Hungarian School of Mathematics and was assistant at Budapest University from 1912 to 1919. In 1928 he accepted a position as lecturer at the Institute of Mathematics in the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, becoming professor in the following year. From 1946 to 1948 he was rector of the university. A dedicated teacher, he laid the foundations of mathematical studies and research there, and played an important part in the development of his department.
Fekete's many and varied contributions included the theory of numbers, algebraic equations, and above all the theory of functions. He considered his greatest achievement to have been the discovery of the transfinite diameter, which won him the Israel Prize for the exact sciences in 1955.
J.C. Poggendorf, Biographisch-literarisches Handwoerterbuch, 2 (1937), s.v. (incls. list of his works).
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