Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar

Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar (22 July 1930 – 2 November 2012) was an Indian American mathematician known for his contributions to algebraic geometry. He, at the time of his death, held the Marshall distinguished professor of mathematics chair atPurdue University, and was also a professor of computer science and industrial engineering. He is known for Abhyankar’s conjectureof finite group theory.


Abhyankar was born in Ujjain, Maharashtra, India. He earned his B.Sc. from Royal Institute of Science of University of Mumbai in 1951, his A.M. at Harvard University in 1952, and his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1955. His thesis, written under the direction of Oscar Zariski, was titled Local uniformization on algebraic surfaces over modular ground fields. Before going to Purdue, he was an associate professor of mathematics at Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University.

Abhyankar was appointed the Marshall Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Purdue in 1967. His research topics includealgebraic geometry (particularly resolution of singularities, a field in which he made significant progress over fields of finite characteristic), commutative algebra, local algebra, valuation theory, theory of functions of several complex variables, quantum electrodynamics, circuit theory, invariant theory, combinatorics, computer-aided design, and robotics. He popularized the Jacobian conjecture.


Abhyankar died of a heart condition on 2 November 2012 at his residence near Purdue University.

Selected publications

  • Algebraic surfaces, Oscar Zariski, SS Abhyankar, J Lipman, David Mumford 1995
  • Lectures on expansion techniques in algebraic geometry, SS Abhyankar, B Singh – 1977 – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  • Local rings of high embedding dimension, SS Abhyankar – American Journal of Mathematics, 1967