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Daniel Kan

Daniel Kan played a key role in establishing the foundations for the combinatorial reinterpretation of topology, or homotopy theory, that led to the integration of topological methods into many mathematical fields. His insights have proven so fundamental and natural they have now become part of the universal language of mathematics. He published two highly influential books with former students and supervised fifteen PhDs, all at MIT. He reached many more through his unique seminar in algebraic topology, known to all as the Kan Seminar.

Born in Amsterdam in 1927, Dan received the BSc and MS from the University of Amsterdam, and the PhD from Hebrew University in 1955. He joined the mathematics faculty in 1959 and retired in 1993. In 1982 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dan continued working till the end of his life meeting with colleagues and contributing to abstract homotopy theory.