Current Issue

Jan.18, 2012

Vol. 112, No. 6


Ernst Snapper *41

Published in the Jan.18, 2012, issue

Ernst Snapper, the Benjamin Pierce Cheney Professor of Mathematics emeritus at Dartmouth College, died Feb. 5, 2011. He was 97.

Born in the Netherlands, Snapper came to the United States in 1938, and earned a master’s degree (1939) and a Ph.D. (1941) in math from Princeton. He was an instructor at Princeton from 1941 to 1945. Then he taught at USC (1945-1955), Miami of Ohio (1955-1958), Indiana (1958-1963), and Dartmouth (1963-1979).

A full professor at all of the above institutions, Snapper was known for his research
in algebraic geometry and homological algebra, among other areas. He made significant contributions to scholarly math journals, and his advanced college text, Metric Affine Geometry (1971), was reprinted in 1989.

Snapper had returned to Princeton as a visiting associate professor in 1949-50 and a visiting professor in 1954-55. In 1984, he contributed an oral history to The Princeton Mathematics Community in the 1930s. He had been a member of the APGA’s governing board.

He was predeceased by Ethel, his wife of nearly 60 years. Surviving are two sons, John ’67 and James ’70; and two granddaughters.

Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.

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1 Remembrance posted for Ernst Snapper

Myron B. Allen III *83 Says:

2012-01-17 09:52:33

I learned the foundations of mathematics from Professor Snapper at Dartmouth in the spring of 1974. It was bewitching. Eventually, I veered toward applied mathematics and (unexpectedly) into university administration, at the University of Wyoming high, chilly, and far from both Hanover and Princeton. It has been a wonderful ride, and for me at least, it's not over. I will always remember the sheer joy that Ernst Snapper brought to my study of mathematics a joy that has made that idyllic spring term at Dartmouth resonate throughout my career.
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