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Allen L. Shields
LSA Minutes


Allen L. Shields, Professor of Mathematics, died in Ann Arbor on September 16, 1989 after a courageous battle against cancer.

Professor Shields was born in New York City on May 7, 1927, the son of Arthur and Esther (Lowell) Shields. He received his B.S. degree from City College (New York) in 1949 and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952. He taught at Tulane University before joining the University of Michigan faculty in 1956. During his career, he was a visitor at New York University, University of Hawaii, Indiana University, Universite de Paris-Sud, Mittag-Leffler Institute (Stockholm), University of California at Los Angeles, and Steklov Mathematical Institute (Leningrad). At Michigan he directed 26 Ph.D. dissertations, more than any other faculty member in the history of the Department of Mathematics. He served as Chairman of the Department in 1975-77 and in 1980¬81. In 1979 the University honored him with a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.

Shields gained worldwide recognition for his research in topological semivoups, complex analysis, and operator theory. He was especially well known for his work combining functional analysis with problems of classical analysis, often in elegant and unexpected ways. A gregarious mathematician, he published 65 of his 80 research papers in collaboration with a total of 44 different coauthors. During the last 3 years of his life he wrote a remarkable series of historical articles in The Mathematical Intelligencer. After his death, a special issue of the Intelligencer (Spring 1990) was dedicated to his memory.

Allen Shields was a warm and generous human being, and an outstanding teacher at all levels. He is sorely missed by friends and colleagues all over the world. In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to every aspect of mathematical life, the Department has established a fund to endow an Allen L. Shields Fellowship for graduate students.

Shields is survived by his wife, Smilka Zdravkovska, an Associate Editor of Mathematical Reviews. He is also survived by his children, Katherine, Thomas, and Jean; three stepchildren, Howard, Bojana, and Andrej; and two grandchildren.

Peter L. Duren