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Nathan Jacobson

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Nathan Jacobson

Nathan Jacobson
Nathan Jacobson, 1974
Born (1910-10-05)October 5, 1910
Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire
Died December 5, 1999(1999-12-05) (aged 89)
Hamden, Connecticut
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions U.N.C. at Chapel Hill
Johns Hopkins University
Yale University
Alma mater Princeton University (Ph.D. 1934)
University of Alabama (B.S. 1930)
Doctoral advisor Joseph Wedderburn
Doctoral students Georgia Benkart
Charles W. Curtis
Craig Huneke
George Seligman
Daya-Nand Verma
Maria Wonenburger
Known for Mathematics textbooks; Jacobson–Bourbaki theorem; Jacobson's conjecture; Jacobson density theorem; Jacobson radical; Jacobson ring
Notable awards AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement (1998)

Nathan Jacobson (October 5, 1910 – December 5, 1999) was an American mathematician.[1]

Born Nachman Arbiser[2] in Warsaw, Jacobson emigrated to America with his family in 1918. Recognized as one of the leading algebraists of his generation, he wrote more than a dozen standard textbooks. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1930 and was awarded a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University in 1934. While working on his thesis, Non-commutative polynomials and cyclic algebras, he was advised by Joseph Wedderburn.

Jacobson taught and researched at Bryn Mawr College (1935–1936), the University of Chicago (1936–1937), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1937–1943), and Johns Hopkins University (1943–1947) before joining Yale University in 1947. He remained at Yale until his retirement.

He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as president of the American Mathematical Society from 1971 to 1973, and was awarded their highest honour, the Leroy P. Steele prize for lifetime achievement, in 1998.[3] He was also vice-president of the International Mathematical Union from 1972 to 1974.


  • Selected works 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Selected works


  • Collected Mathematical Papers, 3 vols., 1989
  • The theory of Rings. 1943[4]
  • Lectures in Abstract Algebra.[5][6][7] 3 vols., Van Nostrand 1951, 1953, 1964, Reprint by Springer 1975 (Vol.1 Basic concepts, Vol.2 Linear Algebra, Vol.3 Theory of fields and Galois theory)
  • Structure of Rings. AMS 1956[8]
  • Lie Algebras. Interscience 1962[9]
  • Structure and Representations of Jordan Algebras. AMS 1968
  • Exceptional Lie Algebras. Dekker 1971
  • Basic Algebra. Freeman, San Francisco 1974, Vol. 1; 1980, Vol. 2; 2nd edition, Vol. 1. 1985.  2nd edition, Vol. 2. 1989. 
  • PI-Algebras. An Introduction. Springer 1975
  • Finite-dimensional division algebras over fields 1996


  • "Abstract derivation and Lie algebras". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 42: 206–224. 1937.  
  • "p-algebras of exponent p". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 43: 667–670. 1937.  
  • "An application of E. H. Moore's determinant of a hermitian matrix". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 45: 745–748. 1939.  
  • "A note on hermitian forms". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 46: 264–268. 1940.  
  • "Restricted Lie algebras of characteristic p". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 50: 15–25. 1941.  
  • "Schur's theorem on commutative algebras". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 50: 431–436. 1944.  
  • "The equation x' \equiv xd-dx=b". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 50: 902–905. 1944.  
  • "Structure theory of simple rings without finiteness assumptions". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 57: 228–245. 1945.  
  • "The radical and semi-simplicity for arbitrary rings". Amer. J. Math. 67: 300–322. 1945.  
  • "Structure theory for algebras of bounded degree". Ann. Math. 46: 695–707. 1945.  
  • "A topology for the set of primitive ideals in an arbitrary ring". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 31: 333–338. 1945.  
  • "The center of a Jordan ring". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 54: 316–322. 1948.  
  • with F. D. Jacobson: "Classification and representation of semi-simple Jordan algebras". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 65: 141–169. 1949.  
  • "Lie and Jordan triple systems". Amer. J. Math. 71: 149–170. 1949.  
  • with  
  • "Some remarks on one-sided inverses". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 1: 352–355. 1950.  
  • "General representation theory of Jordan algebras". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 70: 509–530. 1951.  
  • "Completely reducible Lie algebras of linear transformations". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 2: 105–113. 1951.  
  • with C. E. Rickart: "Homomorphisms of Jordan rings of self-adjoint elements". Amer. Math. Soc. 72: 310–322. 1952.  
  • "Operator commutativity in Jordan algebras". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 3: 973–976. 1952.  
  • "A note on automorphisms and derivations of Lie algebras". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 6: 281–283. 1955.  
  • "Commutative restricted Lie algebras". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 6: 476–481. 1955.  

See also


  1. ^ "Nathan Jacobson (1910-1999)" (PDF). Notices of the AMS 47: 1061–71. 1999. 
  2. ^ "Nathan Jacobson". American National Biography Online. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "1998 Steele Prizes" (PDF). Notices of the AMS 48: 504–8. 1998. 
  4. ^ Baer, Reinhold (1946). "The theory of rings"Review: Nathan Jacobson, . Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 52 (3): 220–222.  
  5. ^ Mills, W. H. (1952). "Basic concepts. Vol. I. Lectures in abstract algebra"Review: N. Jacobson, . Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (5): 579–580.  
  6. ^ Dieudonné, J. (1953). "Linear algebra. Vol. II. Lectures in abstract algebra"Review: N. Jacobson, . Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 59 (5): 480–483.  
  7. ^ Herstein, I. N. (1967). "Theory of fields and Galois theory, Vol. III, Lectures in abstract algebra"Book Review: Nathan Jacobson, . Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 73 (1): 44–46.  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ Hochschild, G. (1963). "Lie algebras"Review: Nathan Jacobson, . Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 69 (1): 37–39.  

External links

  • Nathan Jacobson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • .  
  • An interview with William L. Duren, Nathan Jacobson, and Edward J. McShane about their experiences at Princeton
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