Joan Sylvia Lyttle Birman (born May 30, 1927, in New York City) is an American mathematician, specializing in braid theory and knot theory. Her book Braids, Links, and Mapping Class Groups has become a standard introduction, with many of today's researchers having learned the subject through it. Birman is currently Research Professor Emerita at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she has been since 1973.
|Joan Sylvia Little Birman|
May 30, 1927 |
New York City, New York
|Institutions||Barnard College, Columbia University|
B.A., Barnard College, 1948
|Doctoral advisor||Wilhelm Magnus|
|Doctoral students||Józef Przytycki and 20 others|
|Known for||braid theory, knot theory|
|Notable awards||Chauvenet Prize|
Birman received her B.A. (1948) in mathematics from Barnard College and an M.A. (1950) in physics from Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics in 1968 from the Courant Institute (NYU) under the supervision of Wilhelm Magnus, when she was 41 years old. Her dissertation was titled Braid groups and their relationship to mapping class groups.
Birman's first position was at the Stevens Institute of Technology (1968–1973). She also was a visiting professor at Princeton University during part of this period. In 1973, she joined the faculty at Barnard College. In 1987 she was selected by the Association for Women in Mathematics to be a Noether Lecturer; this lecture honors women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences. She was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in the summer of 1988. She has also been a Sloan Foundation Fellow (1974–76) and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow (1994–95). In 1996 she won the Chauvenet Prize.
- "Automorphisms of the fundamental group of a closed, orientable 2-manifold". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 21: 351–354. 1969. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1969-0239593-9. MR 0239593.
- "Abelian quotients of the mapping class of a 2-manifold". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 76: 147–150. 1970. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1970-12406-5. MR 0249603.
- Braids, links and mapping class groups. Annals of Mathematical Studies. Princeton U. Press. 1975. ISBN 0691081492.
- with Taizo Kanenobu: "Jones' braid-plat formula and a new surgery triple". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 102: 687–695. 1988. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1988-0929004-1. MR 929004.
- with Hans Wenzl: "Braids, link polynomials and a new algebra". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 313: 249–273. 1989. doi:10.1090/s0002-9947-1989-0992598-x. MR 992598.
- "Recent developments in braid and link theory". Mathematical Intelligencer. 13 (1): 52–60. 1991. doi:10.1007/bf03024073.
- Larry Riddle. "Joan S. Birman", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, at Agnes Scott College
- Joan Sylvia Lyttle Birman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "Noether Lectures". Association for Women in Mathematics. Association for Women in Mathematics. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- Institute for Advanced Study: A Community of Scholars
- Birman, Joan (1993). "New Points of View in Knot Theory". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 28: 253–287. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1993-00389-6.
- List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-10.
- Magnus, W. (1976). "Review: Braids, links and mapping class groups by Joan S. Birman" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 82: 42–45. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1976-13937-7.
- Allyn Jackson and Lisa Traynor, "Interview with Joan Birman", AMS Notices, January 2007, Volume 54, Number 1
- "Honorary Members 2015". Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society. 2016-03-28. doi:10.1112/blms/bdw014. ISSN 0024-6093.
- Homepage for Joan Birman at Columbia University
- "Joan Birman", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Joan Birman", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Association for Women in Mathematics: In Her Own Words Six Mathematicians Comment on Their Lives and Careers, Reprinted with permission from Notices, Vol. 38, No. 7, Sept. 1991, pp. 702–706. "Joan S. Birman, Columbia University"
- Profiles of Women in Mathematics, The Emmy Noether Lectures, Presented by the Association for Women in Mathematics, "Joan S. Birman: Studying Links via Braids"
- Wai-Ting Lam . "The Charm of Topology - Dr. Joan Birman: Mathematics is very beautiful!", Association for Women in Mathematics
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