Symmetric Spaces and Spherical Functions -
The contributions of Sigurdur Helgason seen from a personal perspective
Mogens Flensted-Jensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
he Icelandic Professor Sigurdur Helgason was born in Akureyri 1927. He had his university education at University of Copenhagen 1952, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University 1954. He is still active as professor at MIT. He has contributed greatly to mathematics - in particular to the field which today is often called Geometric Analysis.
In this lecture I shall from my personal perspective give some remarks on his contributions. For me this is centered round the notions of Symmetric Spaces and Spherical Functions. I shall mainly address the non-specialist and also add some non-mathematical comments on Sigurdur as a colleague and friend.