AMS Presidents: A Timeline

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Saunders Mac Lane


42. Saunders Mac Lane (1909-2005)

President 1973-1974

D. Phil. Mathematisches Institut, Göttingen, Germany

Mac Lane helped develop category theory and co-authored A Survey of Modern Algebra with Garrett Birkhoff. His principal academic appointments were at Harvard University (1938-1947) and at the University of Chicago (1947 until his retirement in 1982). He served as president of the Mathematical Association of America from 1963 to 1964. He was awarded the AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 1986 for his many contributions to algebra and algebraic topology, and in particular for his pioneering work in homological and categorical algebra. Mac Lane had many prominent roles over his career, including serving as vice president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences from 1973-1981.

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American Mathematical Society