Mathematician:Nathan Jacobson

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Polish-American mathematician mainly working in abstract algebra.

Student of Joseph Henry Maclagan Wedderburn.


American, of Polish Jewish descent


  • Born: 5 October (actual), 8 Sept (official) 1910 in Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland)
  • 1918: Emigrated to USA
  • 1930: Graduated from the University of Alabama
  • 1934: Awarded a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University
  • 1935-36: Taught and researched at Bryn Mawr College (taking over the position of Emmy Noether, who had just died)
  • 1936-37: Taught and researched at the University of Chicago
  • 1937-43: Taught and researched at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 25th August 1942: Married Florie Dorfman
  • 1943-47: Taught and researched at Johns Hopkins University
  • 1947: Taught and researched at Yale University
  • 1971-73: President of the American Mathematical Society
  • 1972-74: Vice-president of the International Mathematical Union
  • 1998: Awarded the Leroy P. Steele prize for lifetime achievement
  • Died: 5 Dec 1999 in Hamden, Connecticut, USA

Theorems and Definitions

Definitions of concepts named for Nathan Jacobson can be found here.


  • 1934: Non-commutative polynomials and cyclic algebras
  • 1943: The theory of rings
  • 1949: Classification and representation of semi-simple Jordan algebras (with F.D. Jacobson)
  • 1956: Structure of rings
  • 1962: Lie algebras
  • 1968: Structure and representations of Jordan algebras
  • 1971: Exceptional Lie algebras
  • 1975: PI-algebras : an introduction

Also known as

Known as Jake to his friends and colleagues.