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Aubrey John Kempner, 1937-1938 MAA President

Born: September 22, 1880
Died: November 18, 1973

Aubrey John Kempner was a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was involved with writing and editing for the American Mathematical Monthly.

Presidency: 1937-1938

Kempner gave a speech, "The Mathematical Association and Mathematics in the Secondary School System," at the joint meeting of the MAA and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) on September 9, 1937.

With editor-in-chief E.J. Moulton and former president H.E. Slaught, Kempner was an editor of the American Mathematical Monthly while president.

Education and Career

Kempner earned his Ph.D. in 1911 at Göttingen under Edmund Landau. Shortly thereafter, as a result of correspondence with E.R. Hedrick, Kempner came to the United States and became a mathematics instructor and then professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana. He was admitted to the AMS in April 1912 and was a charter member of the MAA.

Kempner remained at the University of Illinois until 1925, when he was appointed professor and acting head of the department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. There he supervised four doctoral students, two of whom, Marjorie Beaty (1939) and Laura Johnson (1939), are profiled in Pioneering Women in American Mathematics: The Pre-1940 PhD's. The University of Colorado's mathematics department now holds a Kempner Colloquium, and its library contains the Kempner Mathematics Collection, consisting of Kempner's collection of books on mathematics.

Kempner published many reviews and mathematical articles in the Monthly. In 1914, he wrote about "A Curious Convergent Series" in the Monthly, beginning the study of what are now known as Kempner Series.

He served on the editorial committees for the Monthly, with W.B. Carver, W.B. Ford, E.J. Moulton, and H.E. Slaught, and for the Carus Monographs, with G.A. Bliss, D.R. Curtiss, Dunham Jackson, and H.E. Slaught. Kempner was vice president of the MAA in 1927, 1928, and 1935.

External Resources

Records of editors, presidents, and secretaries from MAA headquarters, Aubrey J. Kempner, 1930-1947 at the Archives of American Mathematics

Kempner, Aubrey [six letters], 1926, 1950-1955 at the Archives of American Mathematics

The Mathematics Genealogy Project