Concept

Wolfgang Haken

Summary
Wolfgang Haken (June 21, 1928 – October 2, 2022) was a German American mathematician who specialized in topology, in particular 3-manifolds. Biography Haken was born on June 21, 1928, in Berlin, Germany. His father was Werner Haken, a physicist who had Max Planck as a doctoral thesis advisor. In 1953, Haken earned a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (Kiel University) and married Anna-Irmgard von Bredow, who earned a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from the same university in 1959. In 1962, they left Germany so he could accept a position as visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He became a full professor in 1965, retiring in 1998. In 1976, together with colleague Kenneth Appel at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Haken solved the four-color problem: they proved that any planar graph can be properly colored using at most four colors. Haken has introduced several ideas, including Haken manifolds,
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