George W. Whitehead

George William Whitehead, Jr. (August 2, 1918 – April 12, 2004) was an American professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is known for his work on algebraic topology. He invented the J-homomorphism, and was among the first to systematically calculate the homotopy groups of spheres. He is also central to the study of Stable homotopy theory, in particular making concrete the connections between Spectra and Generalized homology/cohomology theories.[1]

George William Whitehead, Jr.
Born(1918-08-02)August 2, 1918
DiedApril 12, 2004(2004-04-12) (aged 85)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
Known forJ-homomorphism
Scientific career
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisorNorman Steenrod
Doctoral studentsRobert Aumann
Edgar H. Brown, Jr.
John Coleman Moore

Whitehead was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1941, under the supervision of Norman Steenrod. After teaching at Purdue University, Princeton University, and Brown University, he took a position at MIT in 1949, where he remained until his retirement in 1985. He advised 13 Ph.D. students, including Robert Aumann and John Coleman Moore, and has over 1,320 academic descendants.[2]

Selected publications

  • George William Whitehead (1978). Elements of homotopy theory. Graduate Texts in Mathematics. 61 (3rd ed.). New York-Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp. xxi+744. ISBN 978-0-387-90336-1. MR 0516508. Retrieved September 6, 2011.


  1. Adams, Frank (1974). Stable Homotopy and Generalized Homology. The University of Chicago Press. pp. 196–214.
  2. George W. Whitehead at the Mathematics Genealogy Project

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.