|Education||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)|
Princeton University (MS, PhD)
|Known for||Surgery theory method for classifying high-dimensional manifolds|
|Relatives||Earl Browder (Father)|
Felix Browder (Brother)
Andrew Browder (Brother)
Bill Browder (Nephew)
Joshua Browder (Great-nephew)
|Doctoral advisor||John Coleman Moore|
William Browder (born January 6, 1934) is an American mathematician, specializing in algebraic topology, differential topology and differential geometry. Browder was one of the pioneers with Sergei Novikov, Dennis Sullivan and C. T. C. Wall of the surgery theory method for classifying high-dimensional manifolds. He served as President of the American Mathematical Society until 1990.
William Browder was born in New York City in 1934, the son of Raisa (née Berkmann), a Jewish Russian woman from Saint Petersburg, and American Communist Party leader Earl Browder, from Wichita, Kansas. His father had moved to the Soviet Union in 1927, where he met and married Raisa. Their sons Felix Browder and Andrew Browder (born 1931) were both born there. He attended local schools. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in 1954 and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1958, with a dissertation entitled Homology of Loop Spaces, advised by John Coleman Moore.
Since 1964 Browder has been a professor at Princeton University; he was chair of the mathematics department at Princeton from 1971 to 1973. He was editor of the journal Annals of Mathematics from 1969 to 1981, and president of the American Mathematical Society from 1989 to 1991.
Browder was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1980, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1984, and the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters in 1990. In 1994 a conference was held at Princeton in celebration of his 60th birthday. In 2012 a conference was held at Princeton on the occasion of his retirement.