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Richard Brauer

Richard and Ilse Brauer in 1970
Photo courtesy MFO
Born February 10, 1901
Died April 17, 1977
Nationality United States, Germany
Fields Scientist, Mathematician
Doctoral advisor Issai Schur, Erhard Schmidt
Doctoral students Cecil J. Nesbitt, Robert Steinberg
Known for Brauer's theorem on induced characters

Richard Dagobert Brauer (February 10, 1901 – April 17, 1977) was a leading German and American mathematician. He worked mainly in abstract algebra, but made important contributions to number theory. He was the founder of modular representation theory.

Several theorems bear his name, including Brauer's induction theorem, which has applications in number theory as well as finite group theory, and its corollary Brauer's characterization of characters, which is central to the theory of group characters.

The Brauer–Fowler theorem, published in 1956, later provided significant impetus towards the classification of finite simple groups, for it implied that there could only be finitely many finite simple groups for which the centralizer of an involution (element of order 2) had a specified structure.

Brauer applied modular representation theory to obtain subtle information about group characters, particularly via his three main theorems. These methods were particularly useful in the classification of finite simple groups with low rank Sylow 2-subgroups. The Brauer–Suzuki theorem showed that no finite simple group could have a generalized quaternion Sylow 2-subgroup, and the Alperin–Brauer–Gorenstein theorem classified finite groups with wreathed or quasidihedral Sylow 2-subgroups. The methods developed by Brauer were also instrumental in contributions by others to the classification program: for example, the Gorenstein–Walter theorem, classifying finite groups with a dihedral Sylow 2-subgroup, and Glauberman's Z* theorem. The theory of a block with a cyclic defect group, first worked out by Brauer in the case when the principal block has defect group of order p, and later worked out in full generality by E.C. Dade, also had several applications to group theory, for example to finite groups of matrices over the complex numbers in small dimension. The Brauer tree is a combinatorial object associated to a block with cyclic defect group which encodes much information about the structure of the block.

See also


  • Curtis, C.W. (1999). Pioneers of representation theory: Frobenius, Burnside, Schur, and Brauer. American Mathematical Society and London Mathematical Society. ISBN 0-8218-9002-6.  

External links



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