, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 681-702

The mathematics of F. J. Almgren, Jr.

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Abstract

Frederick Justin Almgren, Jr, one of the world’s leading geometric analysts and a pioneer in the geometric calculus of variations, died on February 5, 1997 at the age of 63 as a result of myelodysplasia. Throughout his career, Almgren brought great geometric insight, technical power, and relentless determination to bear on a series of the most important and difficult problems in his field. He solved many of them and, in the process, discovered ideas which turned out to be useful for many other problems. This article is a more-or-less chronological survey of Almgren’s mathematical research. (Excerpts from this article appeared in the December 1997 issue of theNotices of the American Mathematical Society.) Almgren was also an outstanding educator, and he supervised the thesis work of nineteen PhD students; the 1997 volume 6 issue of the journalExperimental Mathematics is dedicated to Almgren and contains reminiscences by two of his PhD students and by various colleagues. A general article about Almgren’s life appeared in the October 1997Notices of the American Mathematical Society [MD]. See [T3]for a brief biography.