Skip to content Skip to navigation

Reuben Hersh passed away

It is with great sadness that we share the news of Reuben Hersh's passing on Jan 3, 2020 in his appartment at Brookdale in Santa Fe, NM.  

Some of us had the pleasure to meet Reuben, enjoy his wit and erudition as well as his kindness and warmth.

For those of you too young to have met him, Reuben Hersh was an Emeritus Professor in our department, a student of Peter Lax and a  prolific author with an unusual background. Perhaps you have heard of one os his most famous books: The mathematical experience published in 1981, it earned him and his co-author Phillip J. Davis a National Book Award in Science. Reuben kept writing after retirement, his last book "Peter Lax: Mathematician" published in 2015 by the American Mathematical Society.

According to  his Wikipedia entry "Hersh advocated what he called a ''humanist'' philosophy of mathematics, opposed to both ''Platonism'' (so-called ''realism'') and its rivals nominalism/fictionalism/formalism. He held that mathematics is real, and its reality is social-cultural-historical, located in the share thoughts of those who learn it, teach it, and create it".

 Rest in peace Reuben.