Is your surname Radó?

Research the Radó family

Tibor Radó's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Tibor Radó

Hungarian: Radó Tibor
Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Death: Died in New Smyrna Beach, Volusia, Florida, United States
Managed by: Martin Severin Eriksen
Last Updated:

About Tibor Radó

Dr. Rado was one of the galaxy of Hungarian mathematicians who came to the United States after World War I and imparted a significant impulse to the development of mathematical studies. Professor Rado's contributions to mathematical theory ranged from geometry to abstract formulas, including such subjects as calculus of variations, analysis in general, conformal mapping, minimal surfaces. complex functions, geometry of area, Riemann surfaces, and the Plateau problem.

Professor Rado was born in Budapest on June 2, 1895. From 1943 to 1915 he attended the Polytechnic Institute in the Hungarian capital. He then joined the Hungarian armed forces as a first lieutenant and was captured on the Russian front and sent to Siberia. He escaped from the prisoners' camp and his subsequent odyssey took him to the Arctic regions of Russia, where he lived with Eskimos while moving slowly westward, seeking final escape to his homeland. After thousands of miles across the Arctic wastelands, Dr. Rado returned to Hungary and resumed his education. In 1923, he received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Szeged.

Dr. Rado taught for a brief period at the University of Szeged and then went to Germany as a research fellow for the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1929, he came to the United States. He lectured at Harvard University and the Rice Institute and in 1930 joined the faculty of The Ohio State University.

In 1933, Dr. Rado published his first original contribution to mathematical thought, "On the Problem of Plateau," which was translated into every Western language and brought him instant fame. In 1935, he published his second work, "Subharmonic Functions."

As World War II entered its final phase, he interrupted his academic career to render a special service to the United States Government. As a science consultant to the armed forces, he was sent to Germany to find German scientists needed by the United States as it approached the nuclear and missile age.

Dr. Rado then returned to his research at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey. In 1946, he became Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at The Ohio State University, a position he held through 1948. The following year he was named Research Professor.

Professor Rado served as a Visiting Professor at a number of universities, including the University of Chicago, the University of Puerto Rico, and Kansas State.

In the last six years, Dr. Rado's work with computers was concentrated on the design of automatic systems, appropriate mathematical tools, the method called Turing machines, named after the English mathematician, Alan M. Turing, which he preferred to call "Turing programs," and the limitations of what computers can do.


Tibor Rado (June 2, 1895 – December 29, 1965) was a Hungarian mathematician who moved to the USA after World War I. He was born in Budapest and between 1913 and 1915 attended the Polytechnic Institute. In World War I, he became a First Lieutenant in the Hungarian Army and was captured on the Russian Front. He escaped from a Siberian prisoner camp and, traveling thousands of miles across Arctic wasteland, managed to return to Hungary.

He received a doctorate from the Franz Joseph University in 1923. He taught briefly at the university and then became a research fellow in Germany for the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1929, he moved to the United States and lectured at Harvard University and the Rice Institute before obtaining a faculty position in the Department of Mathematics at Ohio State University in 1930. In 1935 he was granted American citizenship.

In the 1920s, he proved that surfaces have an essentially unique triangulation.

In 1933, Radó published "On the Problem of Plateau" in which he gave a solution to Plateau's problem, and in 1935, "Subharmonic Functions".

In World War II he was science consultant to the United States government, interrupting his academic career. He became Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Ohio State University in 1948. His work focused on computer science in the last decade of his life and in May 1962 he published one of his most famous results in the Bell System Technical Journal: the Busy Beaver function and its non-computability ("On Non-Computable Functions"). He died in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.


  • Über den Begriff der Riemannschen Fläche, Acta Scientarum Mathematicarum Universitatis Szegediensis, 1925
  • The problem of least area and the problem of Plateau, Mathematische Zeitschrift Vol. 32, 1930, p.763
  • On the problem of Plateau, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete, 1933, 1951, 1971
  • Subharmonic Functions, Springer, Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete, 1937[1]
  • Length and Area, AMS Colloquium Lectures, 1948[2]
  • with Paul V. Reichelderfer Continuous transformations in analysis - with an introduction to algebraic topology, Springer 1955
  • On Non-Computable Functions, Bell System Technical Journal 41/1962
  • Computer studies of Turing machine problems, Journal of the ACM 12/1965
  • Radó's theorem (Riemann surfaces)
  • Radó's theorem (harmonic functions)


  • ^ Tamarkin, J. D. (1937). "Review: T. Radó, Subharmonic Functions". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 43 (11): 758-759.
  • ^ McShane, E. J. (1948). "Review: Tibor Radó, Length and area". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 54 (9): 861-863.
  • Tibor Radó at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Tibor Radó", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
  • Biography from the Ohio State University and other links
  • Authority control
  • VIAF: 114927250
view all

Tibor Radó's Timeline

June 2, 1895
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
December 29, 1965
Age 70
New Smyrna Beach, Volusia, Florida, United States