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Department of Mathematics
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031

Phone: (212) 650-5346
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math@ccny.cuny.edu

News: page 15

Passing of Gilbert Baumslag

Oct. 23, 2014

The Department of Mathematics marks with profound sadness the passing of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Gilbert Baumslag. Professor Baumslag joined the department in 1973 as a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and stayed with us until 2006 when he joined the CCNY Department of Computer Science. He was founding director of the Center for Algorithms and Interactive Scientific Software, which grew out of the MAGNUS computational group theory project he headed. MAGNUS was funded by the National Science Foundation for 10 years. Dr. Baumslag was for more than 40 years the primary organizer of the New York Group Theory Seminar, considered the foremost research seminar in group theory in the world. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1968-69, and was inducted in 2012 as a member of the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.

Gilbert Baumslag made many outstanding contributions to infinite group theory, particularly to the study of finitely presented groups. Many of these groups have nice algorithmic properties, with applications to cryptography and computer security and control. He published more than 160 scientific papers, and numerous books and monographs; he graduated 30 doctoral students.

Dr. Baumslag was a popular teacher and an outgoing research instigator who generously shared his insights. He had a profound impact on the research and careers of many colleagues, as well as students who became colleagues. We will miss him.

The NY Group Theory Seminar held a memorial session for Gilbert Baumslag on October 31st. The session was recorded, and you can view the recordings on YouTube.

The New York Times has published an obituary for Dr. Baumslag.

Lee Lorch, activist and former math professor, has died

March 5, 2014

Lee Lorch, a professor in the CCNY Mathematics Department from 1946-1949, died at age 98 on February 28th, 2014. While in New York, Prof. Lorch fought for the desegregation of Stuyvesant Town contributing to a campaign agains housing segregation which eventually lead to the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Lee Lorch was also a distinguished mathematican working in real analysis. He was a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He received an Honorary Degree from CUNY in 1990, which recognized his both his scholarly contributions and contributions to civil rights.

The New York Times has published an obituary for Lee Lorch. The Times says the following about his experience at City College:

Despite the backing of a majority of colleagues in his department, the appointments committee at City College blocked his promotion, effectively forcing him to leave.

Mr. Lorch was “unquestionably a fine scholar and a promising teacher,” an alumni committee later concluded, but some colleagues “regarded him, rightly or wrongly, as an irritant and a potential troublemaker.” Mr. Lorch himself charged that the college “protects bigots and fires those who fight bigotry.”

Arthur Szlam wins Sloan Fellowship

Feb. 15, 2013

The department congratulates Arthur Szlam, who has been awarded a 2013 Sloan Fellowship. These highly prestigious fellowships are awarded yearly in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. This is an amazing recognition and shows the high regard of Arthur's work in the scientific community.

Prof. Gautam Chinta receives NSF CAREER Award

Sept. 23, 2009

Prof. Gautam Chinta receives a $400,000 NSF CAREER Award.

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