Cahit Arf, world-renowned mathematician who lived between 1910 – 1997. He made important contributions to the world of mathematics and science by finding terms such as “Arf Constant”, “Arf Rings” and “Arf Closures”, which emerged in the classification of the quadratic forms of objects and are named after him. Together with the German mathematician Helmut Hesse, he developed the Hesse-Arf Theory.
He completed his higher education at the Ecole Normale Superieure in France in 1932. After working as a mathematics teacher at Galatasaray High School for a while, he worked as an associate professor at Istanbul University Faculty of Science. He went to Germany to do his doctorate. He completed his doctorate at the University of Göttingen in 1938.
When he returned to Turkey Istanbul University professor and was promoted to professor at the Faculty of Science Ordinarius and worked until 1962. Later he started teaching mathematics at Robert College. In 1964, the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) was the first chairman of the science committee.
He later made researches and examinations in the United States of America; He served as a visiting lecturer at the University of California. Upon voluntarily want to live in Turkey, he returned to Turkey in 1967. Shortly after his return, he received offers from universities in Canada and America as a visiting professor. However, before he could answer these offers, the phone from Middle East Technical University said that he was assigned to this university and that his plane ticket was on the way, and he was now working at the Middle East Technical University. He retired in 1980. After his retirement, he contributed a lot in the development of TÜBİTAK and took part in the Gebze Research Center affiliated with TÜBİTAK. Between 1983-1989, he was the president of the Turkish Mathematical Society.
Arf won the İnönü Award (1943) and the TÜBİTAK Science Award (1974). In the speech he gave while receiving this award, he explained the scientist according to himself with the words “The aim of the scientist is to understand” and then “but to understand with capital letters”. An international symposium on algebra and number theory held in his honor was held in Silivri in 1990 between 3-7 September. The first conferences on rings and geometry were also held in Istanbul in 1984. Arf presented an article about geometry concept in mathematics. Cahit Arf died of a severe heart disease in December 1997.
“Mathematics is essentially a matter of patience. It is necessary to understand by discovering, not by memory.
Ord. Prof. Dr. Cahit Arf