Mark Mahowald

Last updated
Mark Mahowald
Born(1931-12-01)December 1, 1931
DiedJuly 20, 2013(2013-07-20) (aged 81)
Illinois, United States
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Alma mater University of Minnesota
Known for Homotopy groups of spheres
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Syracuse University
Northwestern University
Doctoral advisor Bernard Russell Gelbaum
Doctoral students Michael J. Hopkins

Mark Edward Mahowald (December 1, 1931 – July 20, 2013) was an American mathematician known for work in algebraic topology. [1]



Mahowald was born in Albany, Minnesota in 1931. [2] He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1955 under the direction of Bernard Russell Gelbaum with a thesis on Measure in Groups. In the sixties, he became professor at Syracuse University and around 1963 he went to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


Much of Mahowald's most important works concerns the homotopy groups of spheres, especially using the Adams spectral sequence at the prime 2. He is known for constructing one of the first known infinite families of elements in the stable homotopy groups of spheres by showing that the classes survive the Adams spectral sequence for . In addition, he made extensive computations of the structure of the Adams spectral sequence and the 2-primary stable homotopy groups of spheres up to dimension 64 together with Michael Barratt, Martin Tangora, and Stanley Kochman. Using these computations, he could show that a manifold of Kervaire invariant 1 exists in dimension 62.

In addition, he contributed to the chromatic picture of the homotopy groups of spheres: His earlier work contains much on the image of the J-homomorphism and recent work together with Paul Goerss, Hans-Werner Henn, Nasko Karamanov, and Charles Rezk does computations in stable homotopy localized at the Morava K-theory .

Besides the work on the homotopy groups of spheres and related spaces, he did important work on Thom spectra. This work was used heavily in the proof of the nilpotence theorem by Ethan Devinatz, Michael J. Hopkins, and Jeffrey Smith.

Awards and honors

In 1998 he was an Invited Speaker of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin. [3] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. [4]

Selected publications

Related Research Articles

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  1. "MARK EDWARD MAHOWALD Obituary: View MARK MAHOWALD's Obituary by Chicago Tribune". 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  2. R.R. Bowker Company. Database Publishing Group (2009). American Men & Women of Science. 5. Thomson/Gale. ISBN   9781414433059 . Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  3. Mahowald, Mark (1998). "Toward a global understanding of π*()". Doc. Math. (Bielefeld) Extra Vol. ICM Berlin, 1998, vol. II. pp. 465–472.
  4. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-02-02.