Person: Solitar, Donald Moiseyevitch
Donald Solitar was a Canadian mathematician who worked in combinatorial group theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Donald showed considerable mathematical talents when still in primary school.
- The captain of the Team was Abraham Karrass, known to all as Abe, and he gave Donald special coaching in solving problems.
- Abe Karrass, who was one year older than Donald Solitar, remained a close friend throughout his life.
- Solitar entered Brooklyn College, the first coeducational liberal arts college in New York founded in 1930.
- Today Brooklyn College is part of City University of New York but at the time Solitar studied mathematics there it was an independent institution.
- Abe Karrass was at New York University and their friendship continued with Karrass essentially acting as a tutor to Solitar.
- This did not work out as he had hoped since Artin was working in class field theory and Solitar was very certain of the area in which he wanted to undertake research.
- Abe had visited Donald while he had been studying at Princeton and the two had begun undertaking research into group theory which Karrass was studying with Magnus.
- It contained results which had formed part of Solitar's doctoral thesis On Subgroup Theorems written under Magnus's supervision.
- After the award of his doctorate, Solitar was appointed to the Mathematics Department of Adelphi College in New York.
- Solitar was on the faculty at Adelphi University until 1968, as was his friend and collaborator Abe Karrass.
- Karrass had registered for a Ph.D. at Adelphi under Donald Solitar's supervision and became the first student to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Adelphi when he was awarded the degree in 1961 for his thesis Non-Desarguian Planes and Parallel Geometries.
- At Adelphi, Solitar and Karras founded the highly successful National Science Foundation Summer Institute for High School Teachers, a program designed for teachers who wished to deepen their knowledge of mathematics and to see it put in an historical context.
- Also during this time the classic text Combinatorial group theory: Presentations of groups in terms of generators and relations by Wilhelm Magnus, Abe Karrass, and Donald Solitar, was published.
- In 1968 Solitar was appointed as a professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department of York University in Toronto, Canada.
- We have exchanged Christmas greetings ever since then and ever year we bring out a little "NOEL" train as part of our Christmas decoration which Donald gave us.
- In 1982 Solitar was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Mathematics Academy III.
- Donald was an inspiring teacher, and in 1985 received an Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award.
- His last hours were filled with writing a poem in honour of the birthday of his lifelong friend Abe Karrass, who passed away exactly ten years ahead of Donald.
- Donald's body has been cremated and his ashes will be interred on June 15, 2008.
- As indicated by this quote, Donald loved to write poetry.
Born 5 September 1932, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Died 25 April 2008, Toronto, Canada.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Group Theory, Origin Usa
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive