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Gilbert Baumslag

Computer Science

Gilbert Baumslag

The Department of Computer Science marks with profound sadness the passing of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Gilbert Baumslag.  Professor Baumslag joined the department in 2006, branching into new areas after more than 35 years in the Department of Mathematics. 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 150 scientific papers, and numerous books and monographs; he graduated 30 doctoral students.

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.