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Felix Browder

Updated: 2017-08-22T18:13Z
Felix Browder
Born(1927-07-31)July 31, 1927
Moscow, Soviet Union
DiedDecember 10, 2016(2016-12-10) (aged 89)
Princeton, New Jersey
NationalityUnited States
InstitutionsRutgers University
University of Chicago
Yale University
Alma mater

Princeton University
class of 1948

M.I.T class of 1946
Doctoral advisorSolomon Lefschetz
Witold Hurewicz
Doctoral students

Luis Medeiros 1956
Peter Greiner Yale 1964
Richard Beals
Melvyn Berger

Bui Ton 1964 M.I.T
et. al.
Known fornon-linear Functional Analysis
Notable awardsrecipient of National Medal of Science 1999

Felix Earl Browder (/ˈbrdər/; July 31, 1927 – December 10, 2016) was an American mathematician known for his work in nonlinear functional analysis.[1]

Early life and education

Browder was born in Moscow, Russia. His parents were Earl Browder, and Raissa Berkmann. He was a child prodigy who entered MIT at age 17 in 1944 and graduated in 1946 with his first degree in mathematics. At MIT he achieved the rank of a Putnam Fellow in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. In 1948 (at age 20), he received his doctorate from Princeton University.

Prior to arriving at Rutgers University in 1986 as its first vice president for research, he headed the University of Chicago's mathematics department for 12 years, and also held posts at MIT, Boston University, Brandeis and Yale.[2]

Browder was the recipient of the 1999 National Medal of Science.[3] He also served as president of the American Mathematical Society from 1999 to 2000.

In his outgoing presidential address Browder noted "ideas and techniques from one set of mathematical sources imping[ing] fruitfully on the same thing from another set of mathematical sources" as illustration of bisociation (a term from Arthur Koestler). He also recounted the moves against mathematics in France by Claude Allègre as problematic.[4]

He was known for his personal library which contained some thirty five thousand books. "The library has a number of different categories," he said. "There is mathematics, physics and science as well as philosophy, literature and history, with a certain number of volumes of contemporary political science and economics. It is a polymath library. I am interested in everything and my library reflects all my interests."[5]


Browder married Eva Tislowitz in 1949. Their children included Bill, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, and Thomas Browder,[6] a physicist specializing in the experimental study of subatomic particles. The late Dr. Browder was the elder brother of two other research mathematicians, William (an algebraic topologist) and Andrew Browder[7] (a specialist in function algebras). Browder died in 2016 at home in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 89.[8] "In addition to his brothers, survivors include the above mentioned two sons, Thomas Browder of Honolulu and Bill Browder of London; and five grandchildren."


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