José Ádem

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José Ádem
Jose Adem math.jpg
Born Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico
Nationality  Mexico
Alma mater National University of Mexico (B.S., 1949)
Princeton University (Ph.D., 1952)
Known for Ádem relations
Scientific career
Fields Algebraic Topology
Doctoral advisor Norman Steenrod

José Ádem (born in Tuxpan, Veracruz, October 27, 1921; died February 14, 1991) was a Mexican mathematician who worked in algebraic topology, and proved the Ádem relations between Steenrod squares.

Life and education[edit]

Ádem showed an interest in mathematics from an early age, and moved to Mexico City in 1941 to pursue a degree in engineering and mathematics. He obtained his B.S. in mathematics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1949.[1] During this time met Solomon Lefschetz, a famous algebraic topologist who was spending prolonged periods of time in Mexico. Lefschetz recognized Ádem's mathematical talent, and sent him as a doctoral student to Princeton University where he graduated in 1952.[2] His dissertation, Iterations of the squaring operations in algebraic topology, was written under the supervision of Norman Steenrod and introduced what are now called the Ádem relations.[3]

His brother Julián Adem was also a distinguished Mexican mathematician, who obtained a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University in 1953.[4] Julián's son is topologist Alejandro Adem.[5]


Ádem became a researcher at the Mathematics Institute of UNAM (1954–1961), and then head of the Mathematics Department at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (1961–1973).[6] He was elected to El Colegio Nacional on 4 April 1960.[1]

In 1951 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.[7] He started in 1956 the second series of the Boletín de la Sociedad Matemática Mexicana.[2]


  • Ádem, José (1952). "The iteration of the Steenrod squares in algebraic topology". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 38: 720–726. doi:10.1073/pnas.38.8.720. MR 0050278. PMC 1063640.
  • Ádem, José (1953). "Relations on iterated reduced powers". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 39: 636–638. MR 0056293.


External links[edit]