May 23, 1940 - December 3, 2010
Cora Sadosky was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her mother, Cora Ratto de Sadosky, later became a professor of mathematics at the University of Buenos Aires, and her father, Manuel Sadosky, was a founding director of the Computer Science Center at the university.
Sadosky traveled extensively with her parents as a young child while they continued their mathematical studies in Europe, attending school in three different countries. She entered the University of Buenos Aires at the age of 15 with the intention of majoring in physics, but switched to mathematics after her first semester. During her undergraduate years she became one of the first students of Antoni Zygmund and Alberto Calderón during their periodic visits to the University of Buenos Aires from the University of Chicago. In 1960 she earned her Licenciada degree, just two years after her mother received her Ph.D. in mathematics at the same university. Sadosky then left Argentina to do her graduate work in mathematics at the University of Chicago with Calderón as her advisor and under the close supervision of Zygmund. She found herself as the only woman in the Ph.D. program in all the sciences, not just mathematics. She earned her doctorate degree in 1965 with a thesis entitled "On Class Preservation And Pointwise Convergence For Parabolic Singular Integral Operators."
After finishing graduate school, Sadosky returned to Argentina to marry Daniel Goldstein, an Argentinean physician she had met while he was studying molecular biology at Yale University. At that time opportunities for research and teaching in Argentina were good. What quickly followed, however, were turbulent times as a military dictatorship took control of the country. Sadosky taught for a year as an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Buenos Aires, but joined many of her fellow faculty members in a protest resignation after a brutal assault by the police on the School of Sciences. After one semester teaching at the Uruguay National University, she was appointed an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University where her husband held a postdoctoral position.
When Sadosky and her husband returned to Argentina in 1968, no academic positions were available for her and she was forced out of mathematics for several years. Her daughter was born in 1971, and two years later Sadosky returned to mathematical research when she began a lengthy collaboration with Mischa Cotlar, who had been her mother's Ph.D. advisor. The next year, however, Sadosky and her family were forced to leave Argentina once again because of the social and political unrest. What followed were positions at the Central University of Venezuela, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and finally appointment as an associate professor of mathematics at Howard University in 1980. She remained at Howard until her retirement except for leaves at the University of Buenos Aires, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Institut d'Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in France, and the University of California at Berkeley. She was promoted to full professor at Howard University in 1985.
Sadosky wrote over fifty papers in harmonic analysis and operator theory, with almost thirty co-authored with Mischa Cotlar. In 1979 she published her graduate textbook Interpolation of Operators and Singular Integrals: An Introduction to Harmonic Analysis.
Cora Sadosky's mother was a founding member of the International Women's Union in 1945. It is probably not surprising, then, that Sadosky was herself a strong advocate for women in mathematics as well as active in promoting the greater participation of African-Americans in mathematics. She was President of the Association for Women in Mathematics from 1993 to 1995. During her term in office the Association moved its headquarters to its present location at the University of Maryland. She increased AWM's international connections and involvement in science policy, in particular initiating with the European Women in Mathematics the first Emmy Noether Lecture at an International Congress of Mathematicians in 1994 and representing AWM at the International Congress of Mathematics Education in 1993. Sadosky was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was twice elected to the Council of the American Mathematical Society. She also served as a member of the Human Rights Advisory Committee of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Cora Sadosky