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Edward Vermilye Huntington, 1918 MAA President

Born: April 26, 1874, Clinton, New York
Died: November 25, 1952, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Huntington was a professor at Harvard interested in statistics, applied mathematics, and the teaching of mathematics to engineering students.

Presidency: 1918

At the third annual winter meeting, the American Mathematical Monthly reported, "A matter of deep interest was the Secretary's roll-call of mathematicians in the national service." This meeting was also the first where contributed papers were presented. 119 people attended.

The third annual summer meeting was held at Dartmouth College on September 5-7, 1918, in conjunction with the meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). 71 people attended; the Monthly attributed the decline in attendance to an increase in railroad rates.

As president, Huntington took a leave of absence from Harvard University. The Monthly reported that he "with the rank of major in the national army is assigned to statistical study under the chief of staff with residence in Washington."

Education and Career

1895 Harvard University, A.B.
1897 Harvard University, A.M.
1901 University of Strasbourg, Ph.D.

Huntington taught as an instructor at Williams College for two years after completing his master's degree and before beginning doctoral study. In 1901, he began teaching at Harvard. He retired in 1941.

Huntington was a charter member of the MAA, elected vice president at its founding meeting. He was also vice president of the AMS in 1924 and vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1941.

In a letter to Professor Alexander Ziwet (University of Michigan) dated July 10, 1914, Huntington weighed in on the question of whether the AMS should expand its mission to support the American Mathematical Monthly.

He stressed the importance of analyzing pedagogical questions and his interest in the field covered by the Monthly, the teaching of collegiate mathematics. However, he noted, "The tendency of modern organization is all towards specialization," and concluded, "I think this tendency is a sound one, and I think that the time is ripe for the organization of teachers of Mathematics in the colleges." The MAA was formed on December 30-31, 1915, to be just such an organization.

External Resources

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive biography

Papers of Edward V. Huntington, 1933

The Mathematics Genealogy Project