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Laurence Chisholm Young

Laurence Chisholm Young (14 July 1905 – 24 December 2000) was a British mathematician known for his contributions to measure theory, the calculus of variations, optimal control theory, and potential theory. He was the son of William Henry Young and Grace Chisholm Young, both prominent mathematicians. He moved to the US in 1949 but never sought American citizenship.

Laurence Chisholm Young
Cairns Daniell Young Stouffer Mitchell Stouffer Kenedy Zurich1932.tif
L. Ch. Young (standing right) at the ICM 1932
Born(1905-07-14)July 14, 1905
DiedDecember 24, 2000(2000-12-24) (aged 95)
Alma materCambridge University
Known forCalculus of variations, real analysis
Scientific career
Doctoral studentsWendell Fleming

The concept of Young measure is named after him: he also introduced the concept of the generalized curve[1] and a concept of generalized surface[2] which later evolved in the concept of varifold.[3][4] The Young integral also is named after him and has now been generalised in the theory of rough paths.[5]

Life and academic careerEdit

Laurence Chisholm Young was born in Göttingen,[6] the fifth of the six children of William Henry Young and Grace Chisholm Young.[7] He held positions of Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also a chess grandmaster.[8]

Selected publicationsEdit


  • Young, L. C. (1927), The Theory of Integration, Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, 21, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. viii + 53, JFM 53.0207.19, available from the Internet archive.
  • Young, L. C. (1969), Lectures on the Calculus of Variations and Optimal Control, Philadelphia–London–Toronto: W. B. Saunders, pp. xi+331, MR 0259704, Zbl 0177.37801.
  • Young, Laurence (1981), Mathematicians and their times. History of mathematics and mathematics of history, North-Holland Mathematics Studies, 48 / Notas de Matemática [Mathematical Notes], 76, Amsterdam–New York: North-Holland Publishing Co., pp. x+344, ISBN 978-0-444-86135-1, MR 0629980, Zbl 0446.01028.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (Young 1937).
  2. ^ (Young 1951).
  3. ^ In his commemorative papers describing the research of Almgren, Brian White (1997, p.1452, footnote 1, 1998, p.682, footnote 1) writes that these are "essentially the same class of surfaces". He notes also that Young himself used the same term in a somewhat different context i.e. in (L. C. Young 1942, 1942a).
  4. ^ See also the 2015 unpublished essay of his pupil Wendell Fleming.
  5. ^ (Young 1936).
  6. ^ (Turner, Rabinowitz & Rudin 2001).
  7. ^ (Fleming & Wiegand 2004, p. 413).
  8. ^ Grace Chisholm Young at Biographies of Women Mathematicians


Biographical and general referencesEdit

Scientific referencesEdit

External linksEdit