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In Memoriam

Felix E. Browder

Felix E. Browder, a renowned mathematics professor who completed his doctorate by age 20 and joined Rutgers as its first vice president for research in 1986, passed away on December 10, 2016, at his Princeton home. He was 89.

He was currently a university professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Browder received the 1999 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science and engineering honor. But he had been tainted by the association with his father, Earl Browder, a longtime leader of the U.S. Communist Party, according to The Washington Post.

During a 1953 hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, the Post writes that a professor at MIT, where Felix Browder earned his undergraduate degree at 18, testified that the younger Browder had never joined the party and “was the best student we had ever had in mathematics in MIT in the 90 years of existence of the institution.”

Browder was cited by the National Science Foundation, which administers the National Medal of Science, for pioneering mathematical work in the creation of nonlinear functional analysis and its applications to partial differential equations. He was also recognized for serving as a leader in the scientific community and expanding the range of interaction of mathematics with other disciplines. Browder had served as president of the 33,000-member American Mathematical Society.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/felix-browder-mathematician-shadowed-by-his-fathers-life-as-a-communist-dies-at-89/2016/12/15/4bc626da-c215-11e6-8422-eac61c0ef74d_story.html?utm_term=.5cbdd4827d72

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