Sheldon Axler

Sheldon Jay Axler (born November 6, 1949, Philadelphia) is an American mathematician and textbook author. He is a professor of mathematics and the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at San Francisco State University.

Sheldon Axler in 1984

He graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Miami, Florida in 1967. He obtained his AB in mathematics with highest honors at Princeton University (1971) and his PhD in mathematics, under professor Donald Sarason, from the University of California, Berkeley, with the dissertation "Subalgebras of " in 1975. As a postdoc, he was a C. L. E. Moore instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He taught for many years and became a full professor at Michigan State University. In 1997, Axler moved to San Francisco State University, where he became the chair of the Mathematics Department.

Axler received the Lester R. Ford Award for expository writing in 1996 from the Mathematical Association of America for a paper titled "Down with Determinants!" in which he shows how one can teach or learn linear algebra without the use of determinants.[1] Axler later wrote a textbook, Linear Algebra Done Right (3rd ed. 2015), to the same effect.

In 2012, he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[2] He was an Associate Editor of the American Mathematical Monthly and the Editor-in-Chief of the Mathematical Intelligencer.



  1. ^ Axler, Sheldon (1995). "Down with determinants!". Amer. Math. Monthly. 102 (2): 139–154. doi:10.2307/2975348. JSTOR 2975348.
  2. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, Retrieved November 3, 2012.

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