Person: Birman, Joan Sylvia Lyttle
Joan Birman is an American mathematician who worked in in braid theory and knot theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Joan had to give up her part-time job to make this move so she took a computer course at the university.
- This move owed something to Joseph Birman, not only for his encouragement but also the example he had showed switching from industry to work in the academic world.
- Birman took linear algebra in her first year, then real and complex analysis in the following year.
- Birman was awarded a Ph.D. from New York University for her thesis Braid Groups and Their Relationship to Mapping Class Groups in 1968.
- In August 1968 Birman was offered a position of Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken after an unexpected vacancy arose there.
- Birman was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Princeton University during 1971-72 and was asked to lecture on her work, particularly on her joint research with Hilden.
- Birman's monograph gives a nearly complete account not only of Artin's results but also of the numerous important applications, later developments and generalizations of the theory of braids, many of which are due to the author.
- After spending the year 1971-72 at Princeton, Birman returned to the Stevens Institute of Technology where she was promoted to Associate Professor of Mathematics.
- In 2004 Birman retired from her position as Professor of Mathematics and was made Professor Emerita.
- Both journals are now published by the nonprofit Mathematical Sciences Publishing Company, for which Birman serves on the board of directors.
- Birman has received many distinctions for her achievements including a Sloan Foundation Fellowship in 1974-6 and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1994-5.
- Other honours awarded to Birman include an honorary degree from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) in June 1997 and New York City Mayor's Award in Science and Technology in January 2006.
- In 2015 Birman was elected to Honorary Membership of the London Mathematical Society in its 150th Anniversary year.
Born 30 May 1927, New York City, New York, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Group Theory, Origin Usa, Topology, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive