|Born||May 25, 1940|
Queens, New York City, U.S.A.
|Died||October 1, 2020 (aged 80)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
|Awards||Leroy P. Steele Prize for expository writing, 1985|
|Thesis||On Spaces Satisfying Poincaré Duality (1964)|
|Doctoral advisor||John Milnor|
Michael David Spivak (May 25, 1940 – October 1, 2020) was an American mathematician specializing in differential geometry, an expositor of mathematics, and the founder of Publish-or-Perish Press. Spivak was the author of the five-volume A Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry.
Spivak was born in Queens, New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) from Harvard University in 1960, and in 1964 he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University under the supervision of John Milnor, with thesis On Spaces Satisfying Poincaré Duality. In 1985, Spivak received the Leroy P. Steele Prize.
Spivak lectured on elementary physics. Spivak's book, Physics for Mathematicians: Mechanics I (published December 6, 2010), contains the material that these lectures stemmed from and more. Spivak was also the designer of the MathTime Professional 2 fonts (which are widely used in academic publishing) and the creator of Science International.
His five-volume A Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry (Publish or Perish Inc., 1970; 2nd ed., 1979; 3rd ed., 1999, revised 2005) is among his most influential and celebrated works. The distinctive pedagogical aim of the work, as stated in its preface, was to elucidate for graduate students the often obscure relationship between classical differential geometry—geometrically intuitive but imprecise—and its modern counterpart, replete with precise but unintuitive algebraic definitions. On several occasions, most prominently in Volume 2, Spivak "translates" the classical language that Gauss or Riemann would be familiar with to the abstract language that a modern differential geometer might use. The Leroy P. Steele Prize was awarded to Spivak in 1985 for his authorship of the work.
Spivak also authored several well-known undergraduate textbooks. Among them, his textbook Calculus (W. A. Benjamin Inc., 1967; Publish or Perish, 4th ed., 2008) takes a rigorous and theoretical approach to introductory calculus and includes proofs of many theorems taken on faith in most other introductory textbooks. Spivak acknowledged in the preface of the second edition that the work is arguably an introduction to mathematical analysis rather than a calculus textbook. Another of his well-known textbooks is Calculus on Manifolds (W. A. Benjamin Inc., 1965; Addison-Wesley, revised edition, 1968), a concise (146 pages) but rigorous and modern treatment of multivariable calculus accessible to advanced undergraduates.
Spivak also wrote The Joy of TeX: A Gourmet Guide to Typesetting with the AMS-TeX Macro Package and The Hitchhiker's Guide to Calculus. The book Morse Theory by John Milnor was based on lecture notes by Spivak and Robert Wells (as mentioned on the cover page of the booklet).
- Spivak, Michael (1967). "Spaces satisfying Poincaré duality". Topology. 6 (1): 77–101. doi:10.1016/0040-9383(67)90016-X. MR 0214071.
- Calculus on Manifolds: A Modern Approach to Classical Theorems of Advanced Calculus, (1965, revised 1968)
- Calculus, (1967, 4th ed. 2008)
- A Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry, (1970, revised 3rd ed. 2005)
- The Joy of TeX: A Gourmet Guide to Typesetting with the AMS-TeX Macro package, (1990)
- A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Calculus, (1995)
- Spivak, Michael (2010). Physics for mathematicians—Mechanics I. Houston, TX: Publish or Perish. ISBN 978-0-914098-32-4. MR 2761185.
- Michael Spivak at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "1985 Steele Prizes Awarded at Summer Meeting in Laramie" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 32 (243): 576. October 1985. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- Beeton, Barbara (2021). "Michael D. Spivak, 1940 - 2020" (PDF). TUGboat. 42 (3): 226–227. doi:10.47397/tb/42-3/tb132beeton-spivak. S2CID 244121636. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
- "Prof. Michael D. Spivak Pathway Lectures". September 3, 2012. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012.
- Spivak, Michael (March 2004). "Elementary mechanics from a mathematician's viewpoint" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- Spivak, Michael (2010). Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I. Publish or Perish. ISBN 978-0914098324.
- "MathTime Professional 2 Fonts". pctex.com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "Snippets of science from a goon". New Scientist. Vol. 98, no. 1352. Reed Business Information. April 7, 1983.
- Bressoud, David (2013). Spivak, Michael; Nitecki, Zbigniew; Sharhriari, Shahriar; Cates, Dennis M.; Thomson, Brian S. (eds.). "Review". The American Mathematical Monthly. 120 (6): 577–580. doi:10.4169/amer.math.monthly.120.06.577. ISSN 0002-9890. JSTOR 10.4169/amer.math.monthly.120.06.577. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
- McCurdy, Christen. "Are Gender-Neutral Pronouns Actually Doomed?". Pacific Standard. Archived from the original on May 20, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
- Guillemin, Victor (1973). "Review: A comprehensive introduction to differential geometry, Vols. 1 & 2, by M. Spivak". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 79 (2): 303–306. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1973-13149-0. Archived from the original on June 20, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
- Alexander, Stephanie (1978). "Review: A comprehensive introduction to differential geometry, Vols. 3, 4, & 5, by M. Spivak". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 84 (1): 27–32. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1978-14399-7. Archived from the original on April 17, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
- Gouvêa, Fernando Q. (February 2, 1996). "Review: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Calculus by Michael Spivak". MAA Reviews. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.