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Bing, R. H.



R. H. Bing was born in Oakwood, Texas, on October 20, 1914. He graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College, San Marcos, in 1935 and, after several years as a high school mathematics teacher, commenced graduate study at the University of Texas at Austin under R. L. Moore, receiving his doctorate in 1945. In 1947 he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he remained until returning to the University of Texas in 1973. Bing was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1965 (council member, 1970-1980), and was a member of the National Science Board (1968-1974) and of the National Research Council governing board (1977-1980). Bing was active in several mathematical organizations, including the Mathematical Association of America (president, 1963-1964), the American Mathematical Society (president, 1977-1978), the Council Board for the Mathematical Sciences (chairman, 1965-1966), the Mathematical Sciences Section of the National Academy of Sciences (chairman, 1970-1973), and the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Research Council (1967-1969). In 1974 he received the Mathematical Association of America Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics.

Bing's research concentrated on the geometric topology of 3-manifolds, particularly their pathology. His side approximation theorem for 2-spheres in Euclidean 3-space and his "Bing shrinking" procedure have been generalized to higher dimensional manifolds. Bing summarized the field in his The Geometric Topology of 3-Manifolds (1983).

Biographical information taken from “A Guide to the R. H. Bing Papers, 1934-1986,” Accession Number 94-208, Archives of American Mathematics, Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

R. H. Bing papers

Identifier: 90.100-Alumni-1989-Bing

The materials in this collection attest to the career of R.H. Bing (1914-1986), a mathematics instructor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Texas at Austin. The papers include correspondence, research and conference notes, publications, typed manuscripts, collaborative research, photographs, a yearbook, reprints, newspaper clippings, and two models.

Dates: 1935-1984, 2015 and undated