To commemorate the many contributions of Professor Allen L. Shields to Mathematics and to the University of Michigan, his family and friends established the Allen L. Shields Memorial Fellowship for graduate students in the Department of Mathematics at the University.
Professor Shields received his bachelor's degree from City College of New York in 1949 after serving in the United States Army from 1945–46. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952. Before coming to the University of Michigan in 1956, he taught at Tulane University from 1952–56.
Allen Shields was an immensely warm and caring person who took his "pastoral duties" to faculty and students very seriously. He was a gregarious mathematician, completely dedicated to his work, with an amazing eagerness to discuss mathematics in any circumstances. His more than 90 published papers show collaboration with 44 different authors. He had a contagious enthusiasm and the knack for coming up with interesting and important questions. A mathematical universalist, he made substantial contributions to many different areas of mathematics including semigroups, measure theory, complex functions, functional analysis, and operator theory. His standards were high, his taste impeccable, and his ideas deep.
A very popular teacher, Allen's lectures were models of clarity and always highly informative. He was an engaging speaker and a constant source of inspiration for students and faculty alike. Highly sought by students as a thesis advisor, he directed 26 doctoral dissertations in his 33–year career as a faculty member at Michigan.
He also made many contributions to the mathematics community at large, including his work as the author of a popular column on mathematical history in the Mathematical Intelligencer. Within the department, he served as Chair of the department from 1975–77 and as acting Chair in 1980–81 as well as constantly serving as a source of advice on decisions facing the department.
Allen Shields is remembered by his colleagues for his talent, his personal charm, and his extraordinary generosity. He changed the lives of all who knew him while his broad and penetrating contributions altered the face of the science he so loved. He showed by example what a mathematician should be.
Allen Shields is survived by his widow, Smilka Zdravkovska, his children, Katherine, Thomas, and Jean, and his stepchildren Howard, Bojana, and Andrei. Dr. Zdravkovska still lives in Ann Arbor.
Gifts to this fund should be directed to allocation 796147. This fund constitutes a gift for endowment and distributions from this fund will be made in accordance with the University of Michigan's existing endowment distribution policy.