Eric Temple BellEric Temple Bell
) was a mathematician born in Scotland
who lived in the USA
until his death. He attended Stanford University
and Columbia University
and was on the faculty first at the University of Washington
and later at the California Institute of Technology
. He did research in number theory
. He attempted -- not altogether successfully -- to make the traditional umbral calculus
(understood at that time to be the same thing as the "symbolic method" of Blissard) logically rigorous. He is the eponym of the Bell numbers
. (He is not
the eponym of the "Bell curve
", which apparently is so called because of its similarity in shape to a cross section of a bell.)
He wrote a book of biographical sketches titled Men of Mathematics, which is still in print.
He also wrote science fiction under the pseudonym John Taine.
Eric Temple Bell