Harold Shapiro, polymath and retired professor of mathematics emeritus at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, died Dec. 12, 2013. He was 91.
Shapiro graduated from the City College of New York in 1942, taught math at Reed College, and worked for the government as a mathematician at the New Mexico Proving Ground. He then earned a master’s degree and
a Ph.D. in math from Princeton in 1946 and 1947, respectively. At NYU, he became an assistant professor in 1948 and a full professor in 1958.
In the 1960s, he briefly left NYU to found Systems Research Group, a consultancy for industry and government.
A distinguished number theorist, he published more than 60 articles and one book, Introduction to the Theory of Numbers. He supervised 41 doctoral dissertations and many master’s theses in his 50-plus years of teaching at NYU. His interest in students went beyond the classroom and past their graduations.
In 1979, Shapiro was awarded the prestigious Townsend Harris Medal for outstanding achievement by a City College graduate. A loyal Princetonian, he contributed to the Graduate School’s Annual Giving campaign for more than 40 years.
He is survived by Ruth, his wife of 65 years; four children; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.