Mission Statement

The intent of this project is to compile information about ALL the mathematicians of the world. We earnestly solicit information from all schools who participate in the development of research level mathematics and from all individuals who may know desired information.

Please notice: Throughout this project when we use the word "mathematics" or "mathematician" we mean that word in a very inclusive sense. Thus, all relevant data from mathematics education, statistics, computer science, or operations research is welcome.

In the following paragraphs we shall try to outline our goals and our underlying philosophy for the genealogy project. It is our goal to list all individuals who have received a doctorate in mathematics. For each individual we plan to show the following:

  • The complete name of the degree recipient
  • The name of the university which awarded the degree
  • The year in which the degree was awarded
  • The complete title of the dissertation
  • The complete name(s) of the advisor(s)

Please note: For the earlier periods the advisor/advisee relationship may not have been nearly so formal as it is in modern times. Thus, the links shown for those periods may reflect a mentor/student circumstance that is somewhat different than the links for more recent decades. Please remember: We are trying to help trace the intellectual history of our subject. Moreover, we acknowledge that the model we are using may well be anachronistic for the earlier periods.

If you are interested in the history of the Mathematics Genealogy Project, the Notices of the AMS carried a relevant article by Allyn Jackson (PDF) in September 2007.

Potential problems

Each of the five items can potentially be troublesome. Consider the name. Most of our data comes from either the university or the Dissertation Abstracts. Neither source is perfect. Moreover, in some instances the name that was recorded in the archives at the time the degree was awarded is not the name by which the individual is known today. When we are aware of such a shift, e.g., a change due to marriage, a change in the choice of the individual's preference or, perhaps, a revised spelling; then we try to accomodate the change. Sometimes we have for historical completeness chosen to show the entire name. See, for example, E. H. Moore, where on his page we also show Eliakim Hastings. If a person routinely uses a middle name instead of the first name and we are aware of this, then we show the name as in the following example: C. Felix Klein and on his page we show Christian. See the paragraph below for tips on searching.

The name of the institution is also subject to change. For the most part we tend to show the name by which the institution is known today. Thus the diploma that was given to Carl E. Langenhop showed the awarding institution was Iowa State College; we show this school as Iowa State University. In the long term, we plan to have a way of showing both the name of the institution at the time the degree was awarded and the current name of the school. If we are using two different names for the same school, please bring this to our attention. In many cases where a school's full name can be expressed in its native language using the extended Latin alphabet, we prefer to do this instead of using English.

We would like to show the year in which the degree was awarded. However, some sources show the year according to when the notification was received. When so informed we will try to correct this sort of error.

We would like to give the complete dissertation title for everybody. However, currently our ability is limited by certain technical considerations. As these are resolved there may be more detail in the titles. Please help us by sending us corrections when the titles are incomplete or contain undecoded TeX code or other errors. Since we now use MathJax to display thesis titles, please bring titles that should have math formatted using TeX/LaTeX to our attention by submitting an update.

Comments on searching

We try to show complete names. If, however, the name by which you know a person does not appear in a search on last and first names then try entering the name as a middle name. We try to put all names, which a person may have used at one time, in the "middle name" field. If a person's name contains a letter other that the twenty-six which are commonly available we try to show the name correctly. We have a rather robust search function, so entering "Muller" will also match Müller. Partial string matches are also possible, so you could enter "ller" to find Muller, Mueller, and Müller, but also many others will come up such as Keller. Similarly, if you recall that someone attended a university with "south" as part of the name but you don't recall whether it was South Carolina or South Florida or South Africa... simply enter the string "south" as the school. You will, of course, receive many listings, thus at least a partial name, first, last or middle, may help to refine the search.