Nicolas Rashevsky

Nicolas Rashevsky (1899- 1973): American physicist and mathematical biologist who was the Founder of Mathematical Biophysics and Mathematical Biology, and also Professor of Mathematical Biophysics at the University of Chicago in the Committee for Mathematical Biology until 1968. He established also the first Mathematical Biophysics journal, the Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, later changed under his editorship to “Bulletin of Mathematical Biology” to emphasize the transition towards abstract relational biologyPlanetmathPlanetmath and relational theory of organismic setsPlanetmathPlanetmath beyond numerical and analytical functions characteristicMathworldPlanetmathPlanetmath of simple physical systems. His later efforts focused on topologyPlanetmathPlanetmath of biological systems and the formulation of fundamental principles in biology and hierarchical organization of organisms and human societies.

Rashevsky’s numerous publications and basic textbooks span almost half a century; among his first published papers was a physical, probabilistic treatment of molecular diffusion using a different approach from that of Albert Einstein’s but with similar, concurrent solutions to the same problem.

Some of his closest coworkers were: George Karreman (former Professor at the University of Pennsylvania), Herbert Landahl (former Professor at the University of California), Robert Rosen (his mathematics PhD student and later Professor of Biophysics at Dalhousie University), and Anthony Bartholomay (former Chairman of the Mathematical Medicine Department at Ohio State University).


  • 1 N. Rashevsky.: 1965, The Representation of Organisms in Terms of PredicatesMathworldPlanetmathPlanetmath, Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 27: 477-491.
  • 2 N. Rashevsky.: 1969, Outline of a Unified Approach to Physics, Biology and Sociology., Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 31: 159–198.
  • 3 Baianu, I.C.: 1980, Natural Transformations of Organismic Structures., Bulletin of Mathematical Biology,42: 431-446.
  • 4 Elsasser, M.W.: 1981, A Form of Logic Suited for Biology., In: Robert, Rosen, ed., Progress in Theoretical Biology, Volume 6, Academic Press, New York and London, pp 23-62.
  • 5 Baianu, I. C.: 1986–1987, Computer Models and Automata Theory in Biology and Medicine., in M. Witten (ed.), Mathematical Models in Medicine, vol. 7., Ch.11 Pergamon Press, New York, 1513 -1577; URLs: Preprint No. EXT-2004-072:.
  • 6 Baianu I. C., Brown R., Georgescu G. and J. F. Glazebrook: 2006b, Complex Nonlinear Biodynamics in CategoriesMathworldPlanetmath, Higher Dimensional AlgebraPlanetmathPlanetmath and Łukasiewicz–Moisil Topos: TransformationsPlanetmathPlanetmath of Neuronal, Genetic and Neoplastic Networks., Axiomathes, 16 Nos. 1–2: 65–122.
  • 7 Rosen, R.: 1958a, A Relational Theory of Biological Systems Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 20: 245-260.
  • 8 Rosen, R.: 1958b, The Representation of Biological Systems from the Standpoint of the Theory of Categories., Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 20: 317-341.
  • 9 Rosen, R. 1960. A quantum-theoretic approach to genetic problems. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 22: 227-255.
Title Nicolas Rashevsky
Canonical name NicolasRashevsky
Date of creation 2013-03-22 18:18:54
Last modified on 2013-03-22 18:18:54
Owner bci1 (20947)
Last modified by bci1 (20947)
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Author bci1 (20947)
Entry type Biography
Classification msc 01A99
Classification msc 01A60
Classification msc 01A70
Related topic AbstractRelationalBiology
Related topic MathematicalBiology
Related topic RobertRosen
Related topic OrganismicSets3
Related topic CategoryOfSets
Related topic OrganismicSets2
Related topic OrganismicSetTheory