- Israel Nathan Herstein
Israel Nathan Herstein (
March 28, 1923, Lublin, Poland– February 9, 1988, Chicago, Illinois) was a mathematician, appointed as professor at the University of Chicagoin 1951. He worked on a variety of areas of algebra, including ring theory, with over 100 research papers and over a dozen books.
He grew up in a harsh and underprivileged environment where, according to him, you either became a gangster or a college professor. During his school years he played football, hockey, golf, tennis, and pool. He also worked as a steeplejack and as a barber at a fair. He received his B.S. degree from the
University of Manitobaand his M.A. from the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.Dfrom Indiana Universityin 1948. His advisor was Max Zorn. He held positions at the University of Kansas, Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell University before permanently settling at the University of Chicago in 1962.
He is known for his lucid style of writing, as exemplified by the classic and widely influential "Topics in Algebra", an undergraduate introduction to
abstract algebrathat was published in 1964, which dominated the field for 20 years. A more advanced classic text is his "Noncommutative Rings" in the Carus Mathematical Monographsseries. His primary interest was in noncommutative ring theory, but he also wrote papers on finite groups, linear algebra, and mathematical economics.
He had 30 Ph.D. students, traveled and lectured widely, spoke Italian, Hebrew, Polish, and Portuguese. He died from cancer in 1988.
first = Joseph A.
last = Gallian
year = 2006
title = Contemporary Abstract Algebra
edition = Sixth Edition
publisher = Houghton Mifflin
isbn = 0618514716
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