A brief history of the professors at the department of Mathematics

When KTH received university status as an institute of technology in 1879 the mathematical education was led by two professors, Emil Fogelmarck and Hjalmar Holmgren. The latter was also responsible for the teaching of mechanics. These two men were appointed during a time when the school was still called an "Engineering Institute" and the theoretical part of the curriculum was somewhat controversial. (This is described by Torsten Althin in his interesting historical work "KTH 1912-1962.")

Mathematics, however, soon got a fairly unchallenged position at KTH, probably largely influenced by Anders Lindstedt who was professor of mathematics and theoretical mechanics in 1886-1909 and who also was KTH's president from 1902 to 1909.

Later development of mathematics at KTH is reflected partly in the following list of professors 1857-1994.

It is noteworthy that the number of professors of mathematical subjects rose by two to three in 1912 and rose further to six in the expansion era of KTH (after 1950).

It may also be noted that the previous broad topics for professorships, such as "Mathematics and Mechanics", were recently replaced with somewhat more specialized topics, such as professorships in mathematical statistics and optimization theory and systems theory. Also new chairs in the mechanical and physical fields have been appointed in the same tradition. Although, these no longer belong to the actual department of mathematics.

As an addendum to the list of professors it should perhaps be mentioned that Lennart Carleson after his formal retirement in 1994, was affiliated to the department by a senior professorship funded by the Göran Gustafsson Foundation.

Professor Period of service Subject area
Hjalmar Holmgren  1857‒1885  Mathematics and mechanics 
Emil Fogelmarck  1874‒1899  Mathematics 
Anders Lindstedt  1886‒1909  Mathematics and theoretical mechanics 
Ivar Bendixon  1900‒1905  Mathematics 
Helge von Koch  1905‒1911  Mathematics 
Pontus Henriques  1912‒1917  Descriptive geometry 
Gustaf Kobb  1912‒1928  Mathematics and mechanics 
Johannes Malmquist  1913‒1948  Mathematics 
Fritz Carlsson  1920‒1929  Descriptive geometry 
Alfred Liljeström  1930‒1948  Descriptive geometry (from 1939: Applied mathematics) 
David Enskog  1930‒1946  Mathematics and mechanics 
Åke Pleijel  1949‒1952  Mathematics 
Carl-Gustav Esseen  1949‒1967  Applied mathematics (from 1962: Mathematical statistics) 
Lamek Hultén  1949‒1954  Applied mathematics (from 1954: Mathematical physics) 
Adolf Eriksson  1949‒1955  Mathematics and mechanics (from 1955: Mechanics) 
Göran Borg  1954‒1976  Mathematics 
Bo Kjellberg  1957‒1982  Mathematics 
Ulf Hellsten  1969‒1984  Mathematics 
Bengt Rosén  1969‒1986  Mathematical statistics 
Ulf Grenander  1969‒1973  Applied mathematics 
Lars-Erik Zachrisson  1969‒1980  Optimization and systems theory 
Lars Ingelstam  1974‒1979  Applied mathematics 
Harold Shapiro  1978‒1993  Mathematical analysis 
Anders Lindquist  1982‒  Optimization and systems theory 
Per Enflo  1983‒1990  Applied mathematics, espec. Differential equations 
Dan Laksov  1986‒2007  Applied mathematics 
Anders Björner  1987‒  Discrete mathematics (from 1992: Mathematics) 
Lars Holst  1989‒2007  Mathematical statistics 
Michael Benedicks  1991‒  Mathematics 
Per Sjölin  1994‒2007  Mathematical analysis