Sad News: David Buchsbaum

January 20, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I am sad to share that David Buchsbaum, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, passed away on January 8, 2021 at the age of 92. He leaves behind his wife, Betty, and their three daughters, Helen, Susan, and Marion, as well as several grandchildren. Information on services has not been announced.

David was born in 1929, and received his A.B. from Columbia College in 1949 and his PhD from Columbia University in 1954. He held faculty positions at Princeton, University of Chicago, and Brown University prior to his arrival at Brandeis as an associate professor in 1961. He served as chair of the Mathematics department three times throughout his years at Brandeis and was deeply engaged in building the department until his retirement in 1999.

As friend, former colleague, and former Brandeis professor David Eisenbud described, David and Maurice Auslander had a famous collaboration laying some of the foundations of homological commutative algebra; among their notable results were the formula relating depth and projective dimension, and the factoriality of regular local rings. David’s later interests were at the intersection of representation theory and commutative algebra. He was a founding editor of the Journal of Algebra and published two books among his many papers.

Eisenbud described David as having and communicating a deep love of mathematics as an integral part of life and of culture. He loved to travel, most of all to Rome. He was a mentor to students and postdocs from all over the world, but especially in Italy. Many Italians arranged to spend time at Brandeis to be near him.

David was honored throughout his career with prestigious awards and fellowships. Most notably, he was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1965, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995, and elected fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012. In honor of his contribution to Italian mathematics, David was internationally celebrated in three locations throughout Italy during a six-week conference in 1998.

David Buchsbaum was deeply committed to the values and mission of Brandeis, and he will be sorely missed.


Carol Fierke