What Did William James Sidis Invent?

Updated: April 05, 2023
William James Sidis invented the Sidis function and the Sidis distribution.
Detailed answer:

William James Sidis was a prodigy who learned to read at the age of 2 and completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University by the age of 13. He later joined the faculty of Harvard and wrote several books, including one on the Sidis function and another on the Sidis distribution.

In fact, Sidis’ most notable contribution to mathematics is his creation of a function that’s still used today in statistical analysis and other fields. The function is called “Sidis” after its inventor, though it’s also known as “The Generalized Hypergeometric Function.” It’s essentially a generalized hypergeometric function for complex-valued arguments; this means that it can be applied to complex numbers instead of just real numbers.

Sidis’ generalization was so successful that it led to what’s now known as the “distribution formula” for hypergeometric functions, which makes it possible to calculate them in many cases where they might otherwise be difficult or impossible to work with mathematically (such as when there are multiple parameters involved).

Actually, Sidis’ dissertation was titled “A Comparative Study of the Mental Differences between Monocular and Binocular Occlusion.” The dissertation included a bibliography listing over 1,000 publications on binocular vision, which Sidis had compiled during his time as a patent clerk. His dissertation advisor was William McDougall who would go on to become one of America’s most influential psychologists.

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What Did William James Sidis Invent?. (2023, Apr 05). Retrieved from