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Dunham Jackson, 1926 MAA President

Born: July 24, 1888, Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Died: November 6, 1946, Minnesota

Dunham Jackson was a mathematics professor at the University of Minnesota and a leader in professional mathematics organizations.

Presidency: 1926

Jackson's year as president of the MAA was also his first year on the editorial committee for Transactions of the American Mathematical Society (1926-31). He continued publishing mathematical papers during his presidency.

Under Jackson, the vice presidents were the next two presidents, W.B. Ford and J.W. Young (not to be confused with later presidents L.R. Ford and G.S. Young).

Education and Career

1908 Harvard University, bachelor's degree
1909 Harvard University, master's degree
1911 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Ph.D., advised by Edmund Landau

Upon returning from Germany in 1911, Jackson joined the faculty of Harvard. He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1919 until he died in 1946. For part of this time, R.W. Brink chaired the department. At Minnesota, Jackson was the "one person whose duty was to be active in research and serve as adviser to most of the doctoral candidates in the department" for many years, according to a reminiscence by W.S. Loud.

His research was mainly in analysis, in particular approximation theory and orthogonal polynomials. He won the MAA's Chauvenet Prize in 1935 for his expository articles "The Convergence of Fourier Series," "Series of Orthogonal Polynomials," and "Orthogonal Trigonometric Sums." He also wrote Fourier Series and Orthogonal Polynomials (1941) as a Carus Mathematical Monograph. It was reprinted in 2004.

Jackson was a charter member of the MAA, serving on the board of governors (1923-29), and vice president (1924-25). He was active in the American Mathematical Society (AMS) on the council (1918-20) and as vice president (1921). He was a vice president (1927) and a secretary for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

External Resources

Bulletin of the AMS obituary

National Academy of Sciences biographical memoir (pdf)

Records of editors, presidents, and secretaries from MAA headquarters, Dunham Jackson, includes offprints of NAS bibliography, memoir of Jackson (1888-1946), 1952-1959 at the Archives of American Mathematics

The Mathematics Genealogy Project