William S. Massey

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William Schumacher Massey (August 23, 1920[1] - June 17, 2017) was an American mathematician, known for his work in algebraic topology. The Massey product is named for him. He worked also on the formulation of spectral sequences by means of exact couples, and wrote several textbooks, including A Basic Course in Algebraic Topology (ISBN 0-387-97430-X).


William Massey was born in Granville, Illinois in 1920. He was an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago. After serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II he received a PhD degree from Princeton University in 1949. His dissertation, entitled Classification of mappings of an (n+1)-dimensional space into an n-sphere, was written under the direction of Norman Steenrod. He spent two additional years at Princeton as a post-doctoral research assistant. He then taught for ten years on the faculty of Brown University. From 1960 till his retirement he was a professor at Yale University. He died on June 17, 2017 in Hamden, Connecticut.

Selected works[edit]

  • Algebraic topology: an introduction. NY: Harcourt, Brace & World. 1967; xix+261 pp.  4th corrected printing. 1977. 
  • Homology and cohomology theory. Monographs and Textbooks in Pure and Applied Mathematics. 46. New York: Marcel Dekker. 1978; xiv+412 pp. [2]
  • Singular homology theory. Graduate Texts in Math. Springer-Verlag. 1980; xii+265 pp. [3]
  • A basic course in algebraic topology. Springer. 1991.  3rd corrected printing. 1997. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Massey, William S. "Indiana, Marriages, 1811-195". familysearch.org. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Ewing, John H. (1979). "Review: Homology and cohomology theory by W. S. Massey" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 1 (6): 985–989. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1979-14707-4. 
  3. ^ Vick, James W. (1981). "Review: Singular homology theory by W. S. Massey" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 4 (2): 229–233. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1981-14892-8.