AMS Presidents: A Timeline

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Oscar Zariski


40. Oscar Zariski (1899-1986)

President 1969-1970

Doctor of Mathematics, University of Rome, Italy, 1924

Zariski was forced to move several times in his life due to political forces--from Belarus to the Ukraine, to Italy, and finally to the U.S. in 1927. His principal academic appointments were at Johns Hopkins University (1927-1945) and at Harvard University (1947 until his retirement in 1969). He was awarded the AMS Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra in 1944 for papers on algebraic varieties; the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1965; the AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 1981 for his work in algebraic geometry, especially his fundamental contributions to the algebraic foundations of this subject; and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 1981. Zariski was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

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