Abraham Markham Gelbart (December 2, 1911 – September 7, 1994) was an American mathematician, the founding dean of the Belfer Graduate School of Science at Yeshiva University and the namesake of the International Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.[1][2]



Gelbart was born to a Polish immigrant family in Paterson, New Jersey.[3] He dropped out of high school at age 14, but studied mathematics at the New York Public Library, where he came under the mentorship of Yeshiva mathematician Jekuthiel Ginsburg. Despite not having a high school diploma, he was accepted to Dalhousie University at age 23, and earned a bachelor's degree there in 1938. He did his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a doctorate in 1940 under the supervision of Norbert Wiener.[1][2][4]

After taking non-tenure-track positions at North Carolina State College, Brown University, and NASA's Langley Research Center, Gelbart took a faculty position at Syracuse University in 1943. He remained there until 1958, when he moved to Yeshiva, taking the position and the editorship of Scripta Mathematica both formerly held by his mentor Ginsburg. He retired from Yeshiva in 1979, and took a position as Distinguished Professor at Bard College, where he remained until 1992. He was also a trustee of Bar-Ilan university.[2] His doctoral students include Robert Finn. Gelbart died from complications following cardiovascular surgery.[5]


With Lipman Bers, Gelbart founded the theory of pseudoanalytic functions in fluid dynamics.[1][2][6]

Awards and honorsEdit

Gelbart was given an honorary doctorate by Dalhousie University in 1972, and by Bar-Ilan University in 1985. In 1981, Bard College gave him the Bard Medal.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Abraham Gelbart, Mathematician, 82", New York Times, September 12, 1994.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jackson, Allyn (January 1995), "Mathematics People: Abraham Gelbart 1911–1994" (PDF), Notices of the AMS, 42 (1): 59.
  3. ^ Staff. A COMMUNITY OF SCHOLARS: The Institute for Advanced Study Faculty and Members 1930-1980, p. 174. Institute for Advanced Study, 1980. Accessed November 20, 2015. "Gelbart, Abe 47-48 M Born 1911 Paterson, NJ."
  4. ^ Abe Markham Gelbart at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Abraham Markham Gelbart", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
  6. ^ Abikoff, William (January 1995), "Remembering Lipman Bers: Lipman Bers" (PDF), Notices of the AMS, 42 (1): 8–18.