Nathan Jacobson

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Nathan Jacobson
Nathan Jacobson, 1974
Born (1910-10-05)October 5, 1910
Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire
Died December 5, 1999(1999-12-05) (aged 89)
Hamden, Connecticut
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions U.N.C. at Chapel Hill
Johns Hopkins University
Yale University
Alma mater Princeton University (Ph.D. 1934)
University of Alabama (B.S. 1930)
Doctoral advisor Joseph Wedderburn
Doctoral students Charles W. Curtis
Craig Huneke
George Seligman
Known for Mathematics textbooks; Jacobson–Bourbaki theorem; Jacobson's conjecture; Jacobson density theorem; Jacobson radical; Jacobson ring
Notable awards AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement (1998)

Nathan Jacobson (October 5, 1910 in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire — December 5, 1999 in Hamden, Connecticut) was an American mathematician.[1]

Born Nachman Arbiser[2] in Warsaw, Jacobson emigrated to America with his family in 1918. Recognized as one of the leading algebraists of his generation, he wrote more than a dozen standard textbooks. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1930 and was awarded a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University in 1934. While working on his thesis, Non-commutative polynomials and cyclic algebras, he was advised by Joseph Wedderburn.

Jacobson taught and researched at Bryn Mawr College (1935–1936), the University of Chicago (1936–1937), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1937–1943), and Johns Hopkins University (1943–1947) before joining Yale University in 1947. He remained at Yale until his retirement.

He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as president of the American Mathematical Society from 1971 to 1973, and was awarded their highest honour, the Leroy P. Steele prize for lifetime achievement, in 1998.[3] He was also vice-president of the International Mathematical Union from 1972 to 1974.


  • Collected Mathematical Papers, 3 vols., 1989
  • Basic Algebra. Freeman, San Francisco 1974
  • Lectures in Abstract Algebra.[4][5][6] 3 vols., Van Nostrand 1951, 1953, 1964, Reprint by Springer 1975 (Vol.1 Basic concepts, Vol.2 Linear Algebra, Vol.3 Theory of fields and Galois theory)
  • Structure of Rings. AMS 1956
  • The theory of Rings. 1943[7]
  • Lie Algebras. Interscience 1962[8]
  • Exceptional Lie Algebras. Dekker 1971
  • Structure and Representation of Jordan Algebras. AMS 1968
  • PI-Algebras. An Introduction. Springer 1975

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nathan Jacobson (1910-1999)". Notices of the AMS 47: 1061–71. 1999. 
  2. ^ "Nathan Jacobson". American National Biography Online. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "1998 Steele Prizes". Notices of the AMS 48: 504–8. 1998. 
  4. ^ Mills, W. H. (1952). "Review: N. Jacobson, Lectures in abstract algebra. Vol. I. Basic concepts". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (5): 579–580. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1952-09628-2. 
  5. ^ Dieudonné, J. (1953). "Review: N. Jacobson, Lectures in abstract algebra. Vol. II. Linear algebra". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 59 (5): 480–483. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1953-09727-0. 
  6. ^ Herstein, I. N. (1967). "Book Review: Nathan Jacobson, Lectures in abstract algebra, Vol. III, Theory of fields and Galois theory". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 73 (1): 44–46. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1967-11628-8. 
  7. ^ Baer, Reinhold (1946). "Review: Nathan Jacobson, The theory of rings". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 52 (3): 220–222. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1946-08527-4. 
  8. ^ Hochschild, G. (1963). "Review: Nathan Jacobson, Lie algebras". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 69 (1): 37–39. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1963-10841-1. 

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