Jens Erik Fenstad (1935-2020)

Martin Davis martin at
Tue Apr 21 21:34:33 EDT 2020

I received this sad news from Dana Scott today.

Jens Erik Fenstad (15 April 1935-13 April 2020) was a Norwegian
mathematician. He graduated as mag. scient. from the University of Oslo in
1959, and worked as a research fellow there and at UC Berkeley. He was a
professor at the University of Oslo from 1968 to 2003, except for the years
1989 to 1993, when he was vice rector (prorektor). On 29 May 1998 Fensted
received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Science and Technology
at Uppsala University, Sweden. He served in the Executive Committee of the
Division for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science of the
International Union of History and Philosophy of Science as Treasurer from
1975 to 1983 and as President from 1991 to 1995.

Fenstad worked mainly on the foundations of generalised recursion theory
developing axiomatics for them, but contributed to many other areas of
interest to logicians. He had been a regular visitor to the UK, and
collaborated and influenced various British logicians, including Robin

He chaired the Norwegian Mathematical Society and the World Commission on
Ethics (COMEST) of the UNESCO, and co-founded the Abel Prize. He has also
edited the journal Nordisk Matematisk Tidsskrift. He was a member of the
Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He resided in Osterå and died on
13 April 2020. His death was due to Covid-19, apparently contracted while
on vacation in Spain with his wife.
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