The Info List - Israil Gelfand

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Israel Moiseevich Gelfand, also written Israïl Moyseyovich Gel'fand, or Izrail M. Gelfand (Yiddish: ישראל געלפֿאַנד‎, Russian: Изра́иль Моисе́евич Гельфа́нд; 2 September [O.S. 20 August] 1913 – 5 October 2009) was a prominent Soviet mathematician. He made significant contributions to many branches of mathematics, including group theory, representation theory and functional analysis. The recipient of many awards, including the Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
and the Wolf Prize, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society and professor at Moscow State University
Moscow State University
and, after immigrating to the United States
United States
shortly before his 76th birthday, at Rutgers University. His legacy continues through his students, who include Endre Szemerédi, Alexandre Kirillov, Edward Frenkel,[1] Joseph Bernstein, as well as his own son, Sergei Gelfand.


1 Early years 2 Work 3 Influence outside mathematics 4 Family 5 Honors and awards 6 Death 7 Publications 8 See also 9 References

9.1 Notes 9.2 Sources

10 External links

Early years[edit] A native of Kherson Governorate
Kherson Governorate
of the Russian Empire, Gelfand was born into a Jewish family in the small southern Ukrainian town of Okny. According to his own account, Gelfand was expelled from high school because his father had been a mill owner. Bypassing both high school and college, he proceeded to postgraduate study at Moscow State University, where his advisor was the preeminent mathematician Andrei Kolmogorov. He nevertheless managed to attend lectures at the University and began postgraduate study at the age of 19.[2] Work[edit] Gelfand is known for many developments including:

the book Calculus of Variations (1963), which he co-authored with Sergei Fomin the Gelfand representation in Banach algebra theory; the Gelfand–Mazur theorem in Banach algebra theory; the Gelfand–Naimark theorem; the Gelfand–Naimark–Segal construction; Gelfand–Shilov spaces the Gelfand–Pettis integral; the representation theory of the complex classical Lie groups; contributions to the theory of Verma modules in the representation theory of semisimple Lie algebras (with I. N. Bernstein and S. I. Gelfand); contributions to distribution theory and measures on infinite-dimensional spaces;[3] the first observation of the connection of automorphic forms with representations (with Sergei Fomin); conjectures about the Atiyah–Singer index theorem; Ordinary differential equations (Gelfand–Levitan theory); work on calculus of variations and soliton theory (Gelfand–Dikii equations); contributions to the philosophy of cusp forms; Gelfand–Fuks cohomology of foliations; Gelfand–Kirillov dimension; integral geometry; combinatorial definition of the Pontryagin class; Coxeter functors; general hypergeometric functions; Gelfand–Tsetlin patterns; and many other results, particularly in the representation theory for the classical groups.

Influence outside mathematics[edit] The Gelfand–Tsetlin basis (also in the common spelling Zetlin) is a widely used tool in theoretical physics and the result of Gelfand's work on the representation theory of the unitary group and Lie groups in general. Gelfand also published works on biology and medicine.[4] For a long time he took an interest in cell biology and organized a research seminar on the subject.[5][6] He worked extensively in mathematics education, particularly with correspondence education. In 1994, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for this work. Family[edit] Gelfand was married to Zorya Shapiro, and their two sons, Sergei and Vladimir both live in the United States. A third son, Aleksandr, died of leukemia. Following the divorce from his first wife, Gelfand married his second wife, Tatiana; together they had a daughter, Tatiana. The family also includes four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.[7][8] The memories about I.Gelfand are collected at the special site[9] handled by his family. Honors and awards[edit] Gelfand held several honorary degrees and was awarded the Order of Lenin three times for his research. In 1977 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He won the Wolf Prize in 1978, Kyoto Prize in 1989 and MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1994. He held the presidency of the Moscow Mathematical Society between 1968 and 1970, and was elected a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Irish Academy, the American Mathematical Society
American Mathematical Society
and the London Mathematical Society. In an October 2003 article in The New York Times, written on the occasion of his 90th birthday, Gelfand is described as a scholar who is considered "among the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century",[10] having exerted a tremendous influence on the field both through his own works and those of his students. Death[edit] Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
died at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital near his home in Highland Park, New Jersey. He was less than five weeks past his 96th birthday. His death was first reported on the blog of his former collaborator Andrei Zelevinsky[11] and confirmed a few hours later by an obituary in the Russian online newspaper Polit.ru.[12] Publications[edit]

Gelfand, I. M. (1998), Lectures on linear algebra, Courier Dover Publications, ISBN 978-0-486-66082-0  Gelfand, I. M.; Fomin, Sergei V. (1963), Silverman, Richard A., ed., Calculus of variations, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Inc., ISBN 978-0-486-41448-5, MR 0160139  Gelfand, I.; Raikov, D.; Shilov, G. (1964) [1960], Commutative normed rings, Translated from the Russian, with a supplementary chapter, New York: Chelsea Publishing Co., ISBN 978-0-8218-2022-3, MR 0205105  Gel'fand, I. M.; Shilov, G. E. (1964) [1958], Generalized functions. Vol. I: Properties and operations, Translated by Eugene Saletan, Boston, MA: Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-279501-5, MR 0166596 [13] Gelfand, I. M.; Shilov, G. E. (1968) [1958], Generalized functions. Vol. 2. Spaces of fundamental and generalized functions, Translated from the Russian by Morris D. Friedman, Amiel Feinstein and Christian P. Peltzer, Boston, MA: Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-279502-2, MR 0230128 [13] Gelfand, I. M.; Shilov, G. E. (1967) [1958], Generalized functions. Vol. 3: Theory of differential equations, Translated from the Russian by Meinhard E. Mayer, Boston, MA: Academic Press, MR 0217416 [13] Gelfand, I. M.; Vilenkin, N. Ya. (1964) [1961], Generalized functions. Vol. 4: Applications of harmonic analysis, Translated by Amiel Feinstein, Boston, MA: Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-279504-6, MR 0173945 [13] Gelfand, I. M.; Graev, M. I.; Vilenkin, N. Ya. (1966) [1962], Generalized functions. Vol. 5: Integral geometry and representation theory, Translated from the Russian by Eugene Saletan, Boston, MA: Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-279505-3, MR 0207913 [13] Gelfand, I. M.; Graev, M. I.; Pyatetskii-Shapiro, I. I. (1969), Representation theory
Representation theory
and automorphic functions, Translated from the Russian by K. A. Hirsch, Philadelphia, Pa.: W. B. Saunders Co., ISBN 978-0-12-279506-0, MR 0233772  Gelfand, Izrail M. (1987), Gindikin, S. G.; Guillemin, V. W.; Kirillov, A. A.; Kostant, Bertram; Sternberg, Shlomo, eds., Collected papers. Vol. I, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-540-13619-4, MR 0929821  Gelfand, Izrail M. (1988), Gindikin, S. G.; Guillemin, V. W.; Kirillov, A. A.; Kostant, Bertram; Sternberg, Shlomo, eds., Collected papers. Vol. II, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-540-19035-6, MR 0929821  Gelfand, Izrail M. (1989), Gindikin, S. G.; Guillemin, V. W.; Kirillov, A. A.; Kostant, Bertram; Sternberg, Shlomo, eds., Collected papers. Vol. III, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-540-19399-9, MR 0997939  Gelfand, I. M.; Kapranov, M.M.; Zelevinsky, A.V. (1994), Discriminants, resultants, and multidimensional determinants, Boston: Birkhäuser, ISBN 978-0-8176-3660-9 [14] Gelfand, I. M.; Gindikin, S. G.; Graev, M. I. (2003), Selected topics in integral geometry, Translations of Mathematical Monographs, 220, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-2932-5, MR 2000133  Borovik, Alexandre V.; Gelfand, I. M.; White, Neil (2003), Coxeter matroids, Progress in Mathematics, 216, Boston, MA: Birkhäuser Boston, ISBN 978-0-8176-3764-4, MR 1989953  Generalized Functions Volumes, 1-6, American Math Society, (2015)

See also[edit]

Gelfand duality Gelfand pair Gelfand ring Gelfand triple

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ Edward Frenkel
Edward Frenkel
(2013). "preface". Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0465050741. One of my teachers, the great Israel Gelfand  ^ "Science Obituaries: Israel Gelfand". The Telegraph. London. 26 Oct 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2013.  ^ Gel'fand, I.M.; N.Ya.Vilenkin (1964), Generalized Functions, Academic Press, p. 375, ISBN 0-12-279504-0  ^ ru:Гельфанд, Израиль Моисеевич ^ V.I. Agol, Notes about I.M. Gelfand’s Seminar, Russian Journal Developmental Biology, Volume 39, Number 6, 367-368. ^ L.V. Beloussov, Short notes about Gelfand’s Seminar, Russian Journal Developmental Biology, Volume 39, Number 6, 369-370. ^ Chang, Kenneth. "Israel Gelfand, Math Giant, Dies at 96", The New York Times (October 7, 2009) ^ Stewart, Ian (November 8, 2009). " Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
obituary". The Guardian. London.  ^ http://israelmgelfand.com/ site dedicated to Israel M. Gelfand ^ Kochman, Marilyn. "In Person: An Equation for Success", The New York Times (October 5, 2003) ^ (in Russian) "Скончался И.М. Гельфанд" ("I.M. Gelfand has died"), accessed 2009-10-06 ^ "5 октября ушел из жизни выдающийся математик Израиль Моисеевич Гельфанд. "Эпоха Гельфанда ушла, но она продолжится в существующих поколениях" "Renowned Mathematician
Israil Moiseyevich Gelfand Departed on October 5. Gelfand's era has gone, but it shall continue in succeeding generations" ^ a b c d e Guillemin, Victor (1980). "Review: Generalized functions, by I. M. Gel'fand and G. E. Shilov". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 3 (1, Part 1): 758–762. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1980-14813-2.  ^ Catanese, Fabrizio (2000). "Review: Discriminants, resultants, and multidimensional determinants, by I. M. Gelfand, M. M. Kapranov, and A. V. Zelevinsky". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 37 (2): 183–198. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-99-00858-7. 


Chang, Kenneth. "Israel Gelfand, Math Giant, Dies at 96", The New York Times (October 7, 2009) "Leading mathematician Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
dies in N.J." USA Today (October 9, 2009) " Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
Top mathematician, 96". The Philadelphia Inquirer (October 10, 2009) "Israel Gelfand" The Daily Telegraph (October 27, 2009)

External links[edit]

Israel Moiseevich Gelfand, dedicated site, maintained by Tatiana V. Gelfand and Tatiana I. Gelfand Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
- Daily Telegraph obituary Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
- Guardian obituary Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
at the Mathematics Genealogy Project O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Israel Gelfand", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews . Web page at Rutgers List of publications. Steele Prize citation. The unity of mathematics – In honor of the ninetieth burthday of I. M. Gelfand Interview: "A talk with professor I. M. Gelfand.", recorded by V. Retakh and A. Sosinsky, Kvant (1989), no. 1, 3–12 (in Russian). English translation in: Quantum (1991), no. 1, 20–26. (Link)

v t e

Laureates of the Wolf Prize in Mathematics


Israel Gelfand
Israel Gelfand
/ Carl L. Siegel (1978) Jean Leray
Jean Leray
/ André Weil
André Weil


Henri Cartan
Henri Cartan
/ Andrey Kolmogorov
Andrey Kolmogorov
(1980) Lars Ahlfors
Lars Ahlfors
/ Oscar Zariski
Oscar Zariski
(1981) Hassler Whitney
Hassler Whitney
/ Mark Krein
Mark Krein
(1982) Shiing-Shen Chern
Shiing-Shen Chern
/ Paul Erdős
Paul Erdős
(1983/84) Kunihiko Kodaira
Kunihiko Kodaira
/ Hans Lewy
Hans Lewy
(1984/85) Samuel Eilenberg
Samuel Eilenberg
/ Atle Selberg
Atle Selberg
(1986) Kiyosi Itô
Kiyosi Itô
/ Peter Lax
Peter Lax
(1987) Friedrich Hirzebruch
Friedrich Hirzebruch
/ Lars Hörmander
Lars Hörmander
(1988) Alberto Calderón
Alberto Calderón
/ John Milnor
John Milnor


Ennio de Giorgi / Ilya Piatetski-Shapiro (1990) Lennart Carleson
Lennart Carleson
/ John G. Thompson
John G. Thompson
(1992) Mikhail Gromov / Jacques Tits
Jacques Tits
(1993) Jürgen Moser
Jürgen Moser
(1994/95) Robert Langlands
Robert Langlands
/ Andrew Wiles
Andrew Wiles
(1995/96) Joseph Keller / Yakov G. Sinai (1996/97) László Lovász
László Lovász
/ Elias M. Stein
Elias M. Stein


Raoul Bott
Raoul Bott
/ Jean-Pierre Serre
Jean-Pierre Serre
(2000) Vladimir Arnold
Vladimir Arnold
/ Saharon Shelah
Saharon Shelah
(2001) Mikio Sato / John Tate
John Tate
(2002/03) Grigory Margulis
Grigory Margulis
/ Sergei Novikov (2005) Stephen Smale
Stephen Smale
/ Hillel Furstenberg (2006/07) Pierre Deligne
Pierre Deligne
/ Phillip A. Griffiths / David B. Mumford (2008)


Dennis Sullivan
Dennis Sullivan
/ Shing-Tung Yau
Shing-Tung Yau
(2010) Michael Aschbacher / Luis Caffarelli (2012) George Mostow / Michael Artin
Michael Artin
(2013) Peter Sarnak
Peter Sarnak
(2014) James G. Arthur (2015) Richard Schoen
Richard Schoen
/ Charles Fefferman
Charles Fefferman
(2017) Alexander Beilinson
Alexander Beilinson
/ Vladimir Drinfeld (2018)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 49355156 LCCN: n50028279 ISNI: 0000 0000 8380 926X GND: 118831364 SELIBR: 188092 SUDOC: 060832967 BNF: cb12941063z (data) BIBSYS: 90330273 MGP: 1