UC Berkeley mathematician Maxwell A. Rosenlicht has died at the age of 74

By Robert Sanders, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- Maxwell Alexander Rosenlicht, a distinguished mathematician and professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, died Jan. 22 while on a visit to Hawaii. He was 74.

Rosenlicht, who maintained homes in both Berkeley and Tucson, Ariz., with his wife Carla, died of a neurological disease which had constrained his work and activities in recent years.

Rosenlicht was widely known for his many research contributions to algebraic geometry, algebraic groups and differential fields. In 1960, he was awarded the Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra by the American Mathematical Society for his seminal 1954 paper on generalized jacobian varieties. This prize is awarded every five years by the society to honor outstanding research contributions in algebra.

He joined the Department of Mathematics at UC Berkeley in 1958 and served a term as chair of the department from 1973 to 1975. Rosenlicht retired from UC Berkeley in 1991.

"Max Rosenlicht was one of the leaders of the department and contributed during his many years of distinguished service to building the department to its premier status," said Calvin Moore, chair of the mathematics department at UC Berkeley. "He trained many fine students."

Rosenlicht was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 15, 1924, and attended public schools in Brooklyn, in particular Erasmus High School. He received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1947 before going on to Harvard University for his doctoral degree, which he obtained in 1950. At Harvard he studied under the noted algebraic geometer Oscar Zariski. He also considered Solomon Lefschetz a mentor. Rosenlicht was awarded a National Research Fellowship and in 1952 joined the mathematics faculty at Northwestern University.

He was the recipient of a Fulbright Research Professorship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as a Miller Fellowship and a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. During his career, he served as visiting professor at the University of Rome, the University of Leiden, the Institut des Hautes Etudes at Bures, France, the University of Catalunya, the National University of Mexico and Harvard.

Rosenlicht is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carla Zingarelli Rosenlicht; son Nicholas of Berkeley; daughter Elizabeth Regan of Oakland, Calif.; son Alan of Seattle; daughter Giovanna Marley of Davis, Calif.; three grandchildren; and his sister Estelle Stolovy of Washington, D.C.

To the last, he maintained his burning interest in travel, art, music and history. He died rereading "Anna Karenina."

A memorial service will be held in Alumni House on the UC Berkeley campus at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28. Contributions may be made to the UC Berkeley Foundation for the Maxwell Rosenlicht Graduate Fellowship Fund and sent to the UC Berkeley Department of Mathematics, 94720-3840.

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