Year of Award: 1974
Publication Information: The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 80, 1973, pp. 760-782
Summary: Birkhoff traces the history of algebra and finishes with new trends in the subject caused by the availability of high-speed computers.
About the Author: (from The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 80, (1973)) Garrett Birkhoff is the Putnam Professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics at Harvard, where he did his undergraduate and graduate work, was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows, and has served on the faculty since. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Washington, University of Cincinnati, and the National University of Mexico, and held a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has served as President of SIAM, Vice-President of the AMS, the MAA, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Chairman of the CBMS. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences, and has received honorary degrees from the National University of Mexico, the University of Lille, France, and the Case Institute of Technology.
His extensive publications in modern algebra, fluid mechanics, numerical analysis, and nuclear reactor theory include the books Hydrodynamics (Princeton University Press, 1950); Lattice Theory (American Mathematical Society Colloquium Publications, 1940, Third Edition 1967); Survey of Modern Algebra (with S. MacLane, Macmillan, 1941, 1953, 1965); Jets, Wakes, and Cavities (with E.H. Zarantonello, Academic Press, 1957); Ordinary Differential Equations (Ginn, 1962); Algebra (with S. MacLane, Macmillan, 1967): Modern Applied Algebra (with T.C. Bartee, McGraw-Hill, 1970).
Birkhoff traces the history of algebra and finishes with new trends in the subject caused by the availability of high-speed computers.