[ALGTOP-L] Passages: Akio Hattori

Megumi Harada Megumi.Harada at math.mcmaster.ca
Wed Sep 11 10:18:27 EDT 2013

 In remembrance of Akio Hattori

  Akio Hattori (professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo Department
  of Mathematics) passed away on August 25, 2013, at the age of 84.
  Professor Hattori had obtained his Ph.D. in 1959 from the University
  of Tokyo. He remained at the University of Tokyo as a faculty member
  until his retirement in 1990, upon which he took a position at the
  Meiji University Department of Mathematics. He had also spent the 2
  years of 1966-1968 at Yale University and Johns Hopkins University as
  a visiting faculty member and was the president of the Japan
  Mathematical Society from 1989 to 1991.

  During his career, Professor Hattori was a central figure in the
  development of topology research in Japan. His main area of research
  was in geometry, with a focus on the topology of manifolds and
  transformation groups. In algebraic topology, his name is forever associated
  with one of its classical results: the Hattori-Stong theorem. In the
  field of geometry, the conference proceedings, edited by Professor
  Hattori, of the first major international conference in geometry held
  in Japan (``Manifolds Tokyo'' in 1973) is well-known and often cite
  to this day. Professor Hattori penned 3 textbooks total, and his
  530-page text titled ``Topology'', which carefully and solidly builds
  the general theory from the foundations and includes many original
  arguments for some of the key steps, is still a crucial component of
  the education of every Japanese graduate student aspiring to be a
  topologist. Professor Hattori also served as the chair of the
  editorial board of the vast Encyclopedia of Mathematics, a publication
  of the Japan Mathematical Society, during the preparation of the
  encyclopedia's 4th edition (released in 2007). The preparation of this
  edition was a Herculean effort due to both the recent acceleration of
  mathematical research and the push towards digitalization of
  information (including the encyclopedia itself), but Professor Hattori
  spearheaded the effort with both grace and poise.

  Throughout his life, and in the era before e-mail and internet,
  Professor Hattori continually kept himself abreast of the latest
  developments in mathematical research both in and outside of Japan.
  His students remember with respect and fondness how manuscripts
  overflowing with new ideas would find their way to their desks,
  accompanied with a smiling comment: ``This is intriguing!'' His open
  mind and free-spirit personality made him well-loved by all.

  Professor Hattori was fighting cancer in the last period of his life.
  Nevertheless, undaunted by medical challenges, he continued to pursue
  his love of mathematics. His last preprint was posted on the ArXiv on
  August 12, 2013; it is available on-line at


 His example continues to inspire and encourage those
 around him. May he rest in peace.



-- Mikio Furuta (Univ. of Tokyo)

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