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William Browder (mathematician)

William Browder (born January 6, 1934)[1][2] is an American mathematician, specializing in algebraic topology, differential topology and differential geometry. Browder was one of the pioneers with Sergei Novikov, Dennis Sullivan and Terry Wall of the surgery theory method for classifying high-dimensional manifolds.

William Browder
William Browder.jpg
Browder in 1970
Born (1934-01-06) January 6, 1934 (age 83)
New York City
Nationality United States
Alma mater Princeton University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Known for Surgery theory method for classifying high-dimensional manifolds.
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Princeton University
Doctoral advisor John Coleman Moore
Doctoral students Alejandro Adem
Sylvain Cappell
Michael Freedman
Louis Kauffman
George Lusztig
William Pardon
Ted Petrie
Frank Quinn
Dennis Sullivan
John Wagoner
Elmar Winkelnkemper
Tadashi Tokieda


Life and careerEdit

Browder is the son of Raissa (née Berkmann) and former American Communist Party leader Earl Browder, and the brother of the mathematicians Felix Browder and Andrew Browder. His mother was a Jewish immigrant from St. Petersburg, Russia, and his father was from Wichita, Kansas.[3] He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S.) in 1954 and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1958, with a dissertation entitled Homology of Loop Spaces, advised by John Coleman Moore.[2][4] Since 1964 he has been a professor at Princeton University; he was chair of the mathematics department at Princeton from 1971 to 1973. He was editor of the journal Annals of Mathematics from 1969 to 1981, and president of the American Mathematical Society from 1989 to 1991.[2]

Browder was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1980, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1984, and the Finnish Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990.[2] In 1994 a conference was held at Princeton in celebration of his 60th birthday.[1] In 2012 a conference was held at Princeton on the occasion of his retirement.[5]

Selected bibliographyEdit

Seminal papers
  • "Homotopy Type of Differentiable Manifolds", Proc. 1962 Aarhus Conference, published in Proc. 1993
  • Oberwolfach Novikov Conjecture Conference proceedings, LMS Lecture Notes 226 (1995)
  • "The Kervaire invariant of framed manifolds and its generalization", Ann. of Math. 90, 157–186 (1969)


  1. ^ a b Quinn, Frank, ed. (1995), Prospects in topology: proceedings of a conference in honor of William Browder, Annals of mathematics studies, 138, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-02728-9 .
  2. ^ a b c d Curriculum vitae from Browder's web site, retrieved 2010-10-06.
  3. ^
  4. ^ William Browder at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^

External linksEdit