Arthur Leonard Rubin (born 1956) is an American mathematician and aerospace engineer, most notable for being named a Putnam Fellow on four consecutive occasions from 1970 to 1973.

Life and career

Rubin's mother was Jean E. Rubin, a professor of mathematics at Purdue University and his father, Herman Rubin, a professor of statistics at the same university.[1] He earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology in 1978, under the direction of Alexander S. Kechris.[2]

Rubin unsuccessfully stood as a Libertarian to represent the 55th district in the 1984 California State Assembly elections.[3]

Awards and honors

Rubin published his first paper in 1969 at the age of 13.[4] As an undergraduate, Rubin was named a Putnam Fellow on four occasions, the first time in 1970, aged 14, making him the youngest Fellow to date.[5][6][7] A Putnam fellowship is awarded to the five highest ranked scorers in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, an annual competition for undergraduate college students enrolled at institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada. In 1972, he tied for third place in the first USA Mathematical Olympiad.[8]

In 1974, Rubin was the subject of an article in the Madison Capital Times, in which his Caltech undergraduate advisor is quoted as saying that someone of Rubin's ability appeared in the United States "about once in every ten years".[9][10]


Rubin's dissertation was entitled Free Algebras in Von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel Set Theory and Positive Elementary Inductions in Reasonable Structures.[11][12] In 1979, Rubin co-authored a paper on list coloring of graphs with Paul Erdős, giving him an Erdős number of 1.[13]


  1. ^ McClure, Dinah L., ed. (2002). "Obituary: J.E.H. Rubin" (PDF). Sequel (38): 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-02. Retrieved 2006-04-25. Professor Jean E. Hirsh Rubin, 75, died on October 25, 2002, in Lafayette. Born on October 29, 1926 in New York City, she had lived in West Lafayette since 1967. She received her M.A. degree from Queens College, the M.S. from Columbia University and her Ph.D from Stanford University. She was a Professor of Mathematics at Purdue for 35 years. She married Herman Rubin, Professor of Statistics, in 1952. She is also survived by her son, Arthur Rubin of Brea, California, and her daughter, Leonore Findsen of Orlando, Florida 
  2. ^ Arthur Rubin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Ward, Mike (June 3, 1984). "Most Senators, Assemblymen Unchallenged". Los Angeles Times. (subscription required (help)).  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Rubin, A. L. & Rubin, J. E. (1969). "Extended operations and relations on the class of ordinal numbers". Fundamenta Mathematicae 65 (2): 227–242.  (Please note that the default language of the webpage is Polish, but it could be changed to English by changing the language option on the upper right)
  5. ^ Alexanderson, Gerald L.; Klosinski, Leonard F.; Larson, Loren C., eds. (1985). The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition Problems and Solutions 1965–1984. Mathematical Association of America. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0-88385-463-5. OCLC 55235548. 
  6. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's William Lowell Putnam Competition". Mathematical Association of America. Archived from the original on 21 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-25. Individual Putnam Fellows: Arthur L. Rubin, California Institute of Technology 
  7. ^ Gallian, Joseph. "The Putnam Competition from 1938-2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  8. ^ Greitzer, S (March 1973). "The First U.S.A Mathematical Olympiad". American Mathematical Monthly (Mathematical Association of America) 80 (3): 276–281. doi:10.2307/2318449. JSTOR 2318449. 
  9. ^ Stingley, Jim (July 6, 1974). "Boy math genius has eye for figures". Madison Capital Times. p. 7. (subscription required (help)).  Alternate Link via
  10. ^ Stingley, Jim (May 13, 1974). "Caltech Math Whiz". Los Angeles Times. pp. D1–D2. (subscription required (help)).  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  11. ^ "Arthur Rubin". Mathematics Genealogy Project. OCLC 436995833. Retrieved 2006-12-16. 
  12. ^ Rubin, Arthur Leonard (1978). Free Algebras in Von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel Set Theory and Positive Elementary Inductions in Reasonable Structures (Ph.D.). California Institute of Technology. OCLC 436995833.  (Note: access might be depended on type of library institutional subscription available)
  13. ^ Erdős, Paul; Rubin, Arthur L. & Taylor, Herbert (1980). "Choosability in graphs". Proc. West Coast Conf. on Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing (Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Calif., 1979) (PDF). Congressus Numerantium XXVI. pp. 125–157. MR 0593902.