93rd  Top people by Erd%C5%91s number: #2 
Samuel Eilenberg  

Samuel Eilenberg (1970)


Born 
September 30, 1913 Warsaw, Russian Empire 
Died 
January 30, 1998 (aged 84) 
Institutions  Columbia University 
Alma mater  Warsaw University 
Doctoral advisor  Karol Borsuk 
Known for  EilenbergSteenrod axioms Eilenberg swindle 
Samuel Eilenberg (September 30, 1913—January 30, 1998) was a Polish and American mathematician of Jewish descent. He was born in Warsaw, Russian Empire (now in Poland) and died in New York City, USA, where he had spent much of his career as a professor at Columbia University.
He earned his Ph.D. from Warsaw University in 1936. His thesis advisor was Karol Borsuk. His main interest was algebraic topology. He worked on the axiomatic treatment of homology theory with Norman Steenrod (whose names the EilenbergSteenrod axioms bear), and on homological algebra with Saunders Mac Lane. In the process, Eilenberg and Mac Lane created the category theory.
Eilenberg took part in the Bourbaki group meetings, and, with Henri Cartan, wrote the 1956 book Homological Algebra, which became a classic.
Later in life he worked mainly in pure category theory, being one of the founders of the field. The Eilenberg swindle (or telescope) is a construction applying the telescoping cancellation idea to projective modules.
Eilenberg also wrote an important book on automata theory. The Xmachine, a form of automaton, was introduced by Eilenberg in 1974.
Eilenberg was also a prominent collector of Asian art. His collection mainly consisted of small sculptures and other artifacts from India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Central Asia. In 19911992, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York staged an exhibition from more than 400 items that Eilenberg had donated to the museum, entitled The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art From the Samuel Eilenberg Collection".^{[1]}
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