Stephen Kleene

Stephen Cole Kleene was born on January 5, 1909 in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1934. He taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from 1935 until 1979.

Kleene worked in mathematical logic, particularly in recursion theory. In a 1956 paper, Kleene introduced the notion of regular expression, and proved that the languages specified by regular expressions and the languages generated by finite automata constituted the same class, a basic result today known as Kleene's Theorem.

Kleene wrote two books, one of which was Introduction to Metamathematics (North-Holland, 1952).

Kleene died in Madison, Wisconsin on January 25, 1994.


  1. S. C. Kleene, "Representation of events in nerve nets and finite automata", in C. E. Shannon and J. McCarthy, eds., Automata Studies, Annals of Mathematics Studies No. 34, Princeton University Press, 1956, pp. 3-42.

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September 10 1997