Daniel Zelinsky

Daniel Zelinsky (22 November 1922, Chicago[1] – 16 September 2015) was an American mathematician, specializing in algebra.

Zelinsky studied at the University of Chicago with bachelor's degree in 1941. From 1941 to 1943 he was a research mathematician in Columbia University's applied mathematics group, in which he was the youngest member.[2] He was from 1943 to 1944 an instructor at the University of Chicago, where he received in 1943 his PhD under A. A. Albert with thesis Integral sets of quasiquaternion algebras.[3] Zelinsky worked from 1944 to 1946 for the applied mathematics group of Columbia University and from 1946 to 1947 as an instructor at the University of Chicago. From 1947 to 1949 he was at the Institute for Advanced Study as a National Research Council Fellow. At Northwestern University he became in 1949 an assistant professor, in the 1950s an associate professor, and in 1960 a full professor, retiring as professor emeritus in 1993. From 1975 to 1978 he was the chair of Northwestern University's mathematics department. He was a Guggenheim Fellow for the academic year 1955–1956,[4] which he spent at the Institute for Advanced Study. He was a visiting academic in 1960 at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 at Florida State University, in 1970–1971 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in 1979 at the Tata Institute. He was a co-editor of the collected works of A. A. Albert.[5][6]

Dan Zelinsky's published work spans four decades and ranges across commutative and noncommutative rings, topological rings, topological methods in algebra, and cohomology, with Galois theory and Brauer groups being recurring themes. An especially significant chunk is his 10 paper collaboration with Alex Rosenberg from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s, including a paper in the famous Dimension Club series in the Nagoya Journal (On the Dimensions of Modules and Algebras VIII), in which they were joined by Samuel Eilenberg.[2]

Zelinsky was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1983 and was the chair or co-chair of the Association's Section A from 1984 to 1987.

His doctoral students include Andy Magid.[3]

Zelda Oser Zelinsky (1924–2015) was his wife; they married in September 1945. Upon his death he was survived by his widow,[7] a daughter, two sons, and four grandchildren.

Selected publications

  • A first course in linear algebra. Academic Press. 1968. pbk reprint. 2014.
  • as editor: Brauer groups : proceedings of the Conference held at Evanston, October 11–15, 1975. Lecture Notes in Mathematics, 549. Springer. 1976.


  1. biographical information from American Men and Women of Science, Thomson Gale 2004
  2. Magid, Andy, ed. (1994). "Daniel Zelinsky: An Appreciation". Rings, extensions, and cohomology : proceedings of the Conference on the Occasion of the Retirement of Daniel Zelinsky. New York: Dekker. pp. ix–xii.
  3. Daniel Zelinsky at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. "Daniel Zelinsky". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  5. Albert, A. Adrian (1993), Block, Richard E.; Jacobson, Nathan; Osborn, J. Marshall; Saltman, David J.; Zelinsky, Daniel (eds.), Collected mathematical papers. Part 1. Associative algebras and Riemann matrices., Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-0005-8, MR 1213451
  6. Albert, A. Adrian (1993), Block, Richard E.; Jacobson, Nathan; Osborn, J. Marshall; Saltman, David J.; Zelinsky, Daniel (eds.), Collected mathematical papers. Part 2. Nonassociative algebras and miscellany, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-0007-2, MR 1213452
  7. "Zelda Oser Zelinsky". Alumni and Friends of LaGuardia High School.
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