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Carl Barnett Allendoerfer, 1959-1960 MAA President

Born: April 4, 1911, Kansas City, Missouri
Died: September 29, 1974, Seattle, Washington

Carl Barnett Allendoerfer was a mathematics professor at the University of Washington. He is known for his MAA films, expository writing, and work in education.

Presidency: 1959-1960

The National Science Foundation gave the MAA a grant to support the Conferences for Lecturers at 1959 Summer Institutes in Mathematics. Allendoerfer appointed E.G. Begle and G.B. Thomas to organize these conferences. Regional conferences were held in Boston, DC, Chicago, St. Louis, and Palo Alto, with a total attendance of about 300.

At the 1959 annual meeting of the MAA, Allendoerfer spoke on a panel on "The Training of Secondary School Mathematics Teachers."

Education and Career

1932 Haverford College, B.S.
1937 Princeton University, Ph.D.

Allendoerfer also studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford from 1932 to 1934. After graduating from Princeton, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison briefly and then returned to Haverford until 1951.

During this time at Haverford, he visited New York University, the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, and the Institute for Advanced Study (1948-49). He also assisted with the war effort as a civilian in the U.S. Navy Operations Research Groups, the U.S. Army Air Corps Pre-meteorology Training Program, and the Joint Target Group as head of the Statistical Subsection and as coordinator of research.

In 1951, Allendoerfer moved to the University of Washington, in Seattle. He was a professor there for most of his career and chaired the department from 1951 to 1962. While Allendoerfer's mathematical research focused on topology, he was deeply interested in improving mathematics education. He coauthored several widely used textbooks and supported the New Math curriculum for primary and secondary schools.

Allendoerfer was editor of the American Mathematical Monthly from 1952 through 1956. He won the Lester R. Ford Award for expository writing in the Monthly or in Mathematics Magazine in 1966. In 1976, a separate award, the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award, was created for Mathematics Magazine. Allendoerfer has served on many MAA committees and as vice president of the MAA. He created several MAA films. He won the MAA's Gung and Hu Distinguished Service to Mathematics Award in 1972.

External Resources

Haverford College memorial resolution (pdf)

Gung and Hu Distinguished Service to Mathematics Award citation

Records of editors, presidents, and secretaries from MAA headquarters, C.B. Allendoerfer, Editor and President, 1949-1963 at the Archives of American Mathematics

Carl B. Allendoerfer Papers, 1948-1974

The Mathematics Genealogy Project