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Abraham Nemeth, the Creator of the Nemeth Code Passed Away at 94

Oct 3, 2013 13:10 IST

Abraham NemethAbraham Nemeth, the creator of the Nemeth Code, a form of Braille, passed away on 2 October 2013 at his home in Southfield, Mich. He was 94 years old. He died because of congestive heart failure. The Nemeth Code improved the capabilities of visually-impaired to study complex Mathematics.

Life History of Abraham Nemeth

• Abraham Nemeth was an American mathematician and inventor born on 16 October 1918 at New York City on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
• He himself was visually impaired from birth.
• He was the Professor of Mathematics at the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, Michigan.
• He got his Master’s in psychology from Columbia in the year 1942.
• He received his doctorate in mathematics from Wayne State University in Detroit.
• He also started studying computer science in the 1960s and later initiated the University’s computer science program.
• He started his experiments with the six-dot cell which is also the foundation of Braille.
• In 1940s, he worked at the shipping department of the American Foundation for the Blind and came up with customized Braille code for math.
• He created symbols for basics of subtraction and addition as well as complexities of differential calculus.
• He also created the Braille slide rule.
• In the year 1950, he presented this to American Joint Uniform Braille Committee.
• By 1950s, his Nemeth Code was adopted by the national groups as well as also included in the textbooks.
• In the year 1955, he was hired by University of Detroit to teach Mathematics to sighted students.
• During his career at the University of Detroit, he learnt to write in the straight lines despite being visually impaired. Additionally, he developed the long memory.
• He retired from his work in the year 1985.
• During his career, he also served as the Chairman of the Michigan Commission for the Blind.
• During his lifetime, he created the Braille versions of Jewish texts which also helped in proofreading the Braille Hebrew Bible in the 1950s.
• He was also the creator of MathSpeak, a method which is used for communication of Mathematics orally.

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