18.7.1891 München/D - 10.9.1966 New York/USA
Emil Julius Gumbel graduated as a mathematician from Technical University of Munich in 1913 and there obtained a PhD degree in 1914. He had then to participate in World War I until 1916 and moved until 1918 to the German aeronautical institute Adlershof in Berlin. Gumbel submitted in 1923 his habilitation thesis to Heidelberg University but was expelled there following a disciplinary case. Gumbel thus moved first to Dijon in France and in 1925 to the United Kingdom. He was appointed associate professor of mathematical statistics at Heidelberg University in 1930 but there had to leave in 1932 because of his political views. Gumbel thus emigrated to France, where he was a Chargé de cours first, and from 1936 a Maitre de Recherche of the Mathematical Institute of Lyon University. When Hitler's army entered France in 1940, Gumbel again had to flee to the USA, where he accepted the position of associate professor at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 1947, Gumbel moved as an associate professor of statistics to Brooklyn College in New York, and was from 1948 a consultant professor at Stanford University, Palo Alto. Finally, he was an adjunct professor at Columbia University, New York until 1961 and stayed several times as a visiting professor in Germany.
Gumbel's life and career reflected the complicated political situation of Europe in the first half of the 20th century. The familiar Gumbel distribution is used in the probability theory and in statistics to find extremes of a number of samples of various distributions, comparable to the normal or the exponential types of distributions. Gumbel applied statistical theory to hydrological processes and thus to water sciences.
Brenner, A.D. (2001). Emil J. Gumbel - Weimar German pacifist and professor. Brill: Boston. P Gumbel, E.J. (1923). Cours de statistique, mathématique, distribution. Université: Lyon. Gumbel, E.J. (1943). On the plotting of flood-discharges. Trans. AGU 24: 698-718.
Gumbel, E.J. (1945). Simplified plotting of statistical observations. Trans. AGU 26: 69-82. Gumbel, E.J. (1954). Statistical theory of extreme values and some practical applications. National Bureau of Standards: Washington DC.
Gumbel, E.J. (1958). Statistics of extremes. Columbia University Press: New York. Poggendorff, J.C. (1953). Gumbel, Emil Julius. Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch 7a: 316-319; 8: 1438-1440. Akademie-Verlag: Berlin, with bibliography.
Vogt, A. (2001). Emil J. Gumbel - Mathematiker und Publizist gegen die Nazis. Heidelberg. P P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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