Karl Menger, Prof. Dr.

13.1.1902 – 5.10.1985
born in Wien, Austria died in Chicago, United States

Son of Carl Menger, professor of national economy


Ehrung Titel Datierung Fakultät
Gate of Remembrance Menger-Tor 1998/99 Faculty of Natural Sciences
Memorial Plaque of Honor Mathematics 2009 Faculty of Mathematics

The plaque was unveiled at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Vienna in 1984. Karl Menger's name was added to the plaque on October 7, 2009.

Karl Menger was the son of the famous national economist Carl Menger. He attended the Döblinger Gymnasium, where the later Nobel Laureates Richard Kuhn and Wolfgang Pauli were his schoolmates, and studied mathematics at the University of Vienna from 1920. He was graduated mathematics in 1924 ("Dr.phil."). His formative teachers included the famous mathematician Hans Hahn, but he also attended lectures on theoretical physics with Hans Thirring and on philosophy with Moritz Schlick.

Karl Menger was already able to distinguish himself during his studies with outstanding work in the field of curves and dimension theory and, after completing his doctorate, went to the University of Amsterdam as an assistant to Luitzen E. J. Brouwer. In 1927, Menger habilitated in geometry at the University of Vienna, and just one year later, at the age of twenty-five, he was appointed associate professor. Lectures and study trips also took him to Harvard (1930/31). Menger had a great interest in philosophical questions and was a member of the Vienna Circle, which had been founded by his teacher Hans Hahn and Moritz Schlick. For the academic year 1937/38, Menger accepted an invitation to Notre Dame (Indiana) as a visiting professor. Immediately after the National Socialist takeover in Austria in 1938, he telegraphed to Vienna that he was resigning his professorship. Menger received American citizenship in 1942.

From 1946 until his retirement in 1971, he was Professor of Mathematics at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Menger was not reappointed to the University of Vienna, although he often visited his home town and worked here, particularly at the Institute for Advanced Studies. His extensive scientific work is a permanent feature of mathematics and logic.

In 1998, one of the "Gates of Remembrance" on the campus of the University of Vienna was named after him and his father Carl Menger ("Menger Gate", gate between Courtyards 1 and 4).
On October 7, 2009, his name was added to the commemorative plaque of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Vienna.

Thomas Maisel

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 01/22/24


  • Commemorative plaque, Department of Mathematics

    Commemorative plaque, Department of Mathematics at UZA IV (Vienna 9., Althanstraße), moved 2013 with the School of Mathematics to the new site Vienna...

    Courtesy: Private Archive Herbert Posch, Vienna Originator: Herbert Posch