Peter J. Freyd

Peter J. Freyd
Born February 5, 1936 (1936-02-05) (age 80)
Evanston, Illinois
Fields Category theory
Institutions University of Pennsylvania
Known for Freyd–Mitchell theorem
HOMFLY polynomial

Peter J. Freyd (born February 5, 1936, in Evanston, Illinois)[1] is an American mathematician, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, known for work in category theory and for founding the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

Mathematical work

Freyd is perhaps best known for the Adjoint functor Theorem. He was the author of the foundational book Abelian Categories: An Introduction to the Theory of Functors. This work culminates in a proof of the Freyd-Mitchell embedding theorem. See also p. 278 of Herrlich & Strecker citation on Categorical Topology. In addition, Freyd's name is associated with the HOMFLYPT polynomial of knot theory, and he and Scedrov originated the concept of (mathematical) allegories.

In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[2]

False Memory Syndrome Foundation

Freyd and his wife Pamela founded the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in 1992,[3] after Freyd was accused of sexual abuse by his daughter Jennifer.[3][4] Freyd denies the accusations.[5]




  1. American Men and Women of Science, Thompson Gale, 2005
  2. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-12-29.
  3. 1 2 Diana E. H. Russell. The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women. Basic Books, 1987. xx–xxi.
  4. Freyd, J. (1996) Betrayal Trauma: The Logic of Forgetting Child Abuse. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. The history of the confrontations between the Freyds and their daughter Jennifer is recounted in the Afterword, pages 197–199.
  5. "One family's tragedy spawns national group", The Baltimore Sun, September 12, 1994. Available on the web at Skeptic Files
  6. Linton, F. E. J. (1965). "Review of Abelian categories: an introduction to the theory of functors by Peter Freyd" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 71 (4): 577–580. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1965-11342-8.

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