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Vanderbilt Math Professor Emeritus Passes Away

Posted at 1:51 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 14:51:17-04

Bjarni Jonsson, known as an authority on algebra and Vanderbilt University's first distinguished professor of mathematics, has died. He was 96.

The university said Wednesday that Jonsson died September 30.

Jonsson was an emeritus professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt, where he began in 1966 and retired in 1993. He was instrumental in establishing the department's graduate program.

Vanderbilt said his contributions have been recognized by a number of mathematical objects that have been named for him, including Jonsson and Jonsson-Tarski algebras, Jonsson cardinals, Jonsson terms, the Jonsson lemma, and the Jonsson-Tarski duality.

Jonsson studied at the University of California, Berkeley, with mathematician and logician Alfred Tarski.

He was elected an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012 and was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1974.