Martin Davis (mathematician)


Martin David Davis (born March 8, 1928) is an American mathematician, known for his work on Hilbert's tenth problem.[1][2]

Martin Davis
Martin Davis.jpg
Born (1928-03-08) March 8, 1928 (age 94)
Alma materPrinceton University
Known forDavis–Putnam algorithm
DPLL algorithm
work on Hilbert's tenth problem
AwardsChauvenet Prize (1975)
Scientific career
InstitutionsNew York University
ThesisOn the Theory of Recursive Unsolvability (1950)
Doctoral advisorAlonzo Church
Doctoral studentsMoshe Koppel, Donald W. Loveland


Davis's parents were Jewish immigrants to the US from Łódź, Poland, and married after they met again in New York City. Davis grew up in the Bronx, where his parents encouraged him to obtain a full education.[1][2]

He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1950, where his advisor was Alonzo Church.[1][2][3] During a research instructorship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the early 1950s, he joined the Control Systems Lab and became one of the early programmers of the ORDVAC.[1] He is Professor Emeritus at New York University.


Davis is the co-inventor of the Davis–Putnam algorithm and the DPLL algorithms. He is also known for his model of Post–Turing machines, and his work on Hilbert's tenth problem leading to the MRDP theorem.

Awards and honorsEdit

In 1975, Davis won the Leroy P. Steele Prize, the Chauvenet Prize (with Reuben Hersh), and in 1974 the Lester R. Ford Award for his expository writing related to his work on Hilbert's tenth problem.[2][4] He became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1982,[2] and in 2012, he was selected as one of the inaugural fellows of the American Mathematical Society.[5]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Davis, Martin (1958). Computability and Unsolvability. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-61471-9. 1982 Dover reprint
  • Davis, Martin (1977). Applied nonstandard analysis. New York: Wiley. ISBN 9780471198970. 2014 Dover reprint
  • Davis, Martin; Weyuker, Elaine J.; Sigal, Ron (1994). Computability, complexity, and languages: fundamentals of theoretical computer science (2nd ed.). Boston: Academic Press, Harcourt, Brace. ISBN 9780122063824.
  • Davis, Martin (2000). The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing. Norton. ISBN 0393047857.. Reprinted as Engines of Logic: Mathematicians and the Origin of the Computer. New York: Norton. 2000. ISBN 9780393322293.
  • Davis, Martin (1973), "Hilbert's Tenth Problem is Unsolvable", American Mathematical Monthly, 80(3), 233–269. doi:10.1080/00029890.1973.11993265
  • Davis, Martin (1995), "Is mathematical insight algorithmic?", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13(4), 659–60.
  • Davis, Martin (2020), "Seventy Years of Computer Science", In: Blass A., Cégielski P., Dershowitz N., Droste M., Finkbeiner B. (eds.) Fields of Logic and Computation III, 105–117. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 12180. Springer: Cham, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-48006-6_8

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Jackson, Allyn (September 2007), "Interview with Martin Davis" (PDF), Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society (published May 2008), vol. 55, no. 5, pp. 560–571, ISSN 0002-9920, OCLC 1480366.
  2. ^ a b c d e O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Martin Davis (mathematician)", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews
  3. ^ Martin Davis at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Davis, Martin (1973). "Hilbert's tenth problem is unsolvable". Amer. Math. Monthly. 80 (3): 233–269. doi:10.2307/2318447. JSTOR 2318447.
  5. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2014-03-17.

External linksEdit

  •   Quotations related to Martin Davis (mathematician) at Wikiquote
  • Martin Davis' website
  • Celebrating Emil Post & His "Intractable Problem" of Tag: 100 Years Later on YouTube, including contributions by Martin Davis (from 1 hour 39 minutes in the recording)