Monday, November 03, 2014

Stephen H. Schanuel and Dietmar Schumacher

Steve and Dietmar are two mathematicians I knew who died earlier this year. I meant to write something earlier but have been distracted by my own health problems.

I knew Stephen Schanuel (14 July 1933-25 July 2014) mainly from his visits to Sydney. During his 1988 visit my friend Bob Bolton took this photograph of him:
My memory of him is that he was enthusiastic as a mathematician, but also Missouri-Skeptical of exaggerated claims. I remember he was not very keen on the word "categorification" though of course being well aware of the process of abstraction from objective categories. To visit Buffalo was to be involved in the ongoing Lawvere-Schanuel mathematical discussions. I liked very much Fred Linton's remarks on Steve's death on the Categories List in which he said "no longer does Steve belong so exclusively to his peers, colleagues, friends, and family, as to History".

I also knew Dietmar (who died on 17th September 2014) from visits to Sydney (I think actually to Macquarie University), and from a visit I made to Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  He was great company, and had the odd habit of apologizing, even to the extent of apologizing for apologizing. He was the founder with Bob ParĂ© of the Atlantic Category Seminar and wrote extensively with Bob ParĂ© on indexed categories



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