Mathematician:Derrick Henry Lehmer

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American mathematician active mainly in the field of number theory.

Most famous for designing the Lucas-Lehmer Test for determining the primality of Mersenne numbers.

The son of Derrick Norman Lehmer, and married to Emma Lehmer, née Trotskaia.

One of the victims of the McCarthy witch-hunt.




  • Born: February 23, 1905
  • Died: May 22, 1991

Theorems and Definitions

Results named for Derrick Henry Lehmer can be found here.

Definitions of concepts named for Derrick Henry Lehmer can be found here.


  • 1930: An Extended Theory of Lucas' Functions (PhD thesis)
  • 1938: A Cotangent Analogue of Continued Fractions (Duke Math. J. Vol. 4: pp. 323 – 340)
  • 1941: On the first case of Fermat's Last Theorem (with Emma Lehmer)

Notable Quotes

General rules for programming have been discovered. Most of them have been used in the Kansas City freight yards for a long time.
-- Quoted at the end of Section 2.6 of 1968: Donald E. Knuth: The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms

Also known as

Known informally as Dick Lehmer.