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Henry Ludwig Alder, 1977-1978 MAA President

Born: March 26, 1922, Duisburg, Germany
Died: November 6, 2002, Davis, California

Henry Ludwig Alder is known for his research in number theory, teaching, and work for professional organizations.

Presidency: 1977-1978

At the 1978 annual meeting, the MAA board of governors approved a contract to establish the Archives of American Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. The University of Texas board of regents approved the contract in June. The Archives Spotlight provides more information about the Archives of American Mathematics and its collections, including the MAA Records collection.

At the same meeting, the board of governors approved the purchase of new headquarters buildings for the MAA. During the summer of 1978, the MAA moved from rented office space to its current headquarters at 1527-1529 Eighteenth Street, NW, in Washington, DC.

Education and Career

1942 University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in mathematics and chemistry
1947 University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., advised by D.H. Lehmer

Alder joined the faculty of the University of California at Davis in 1948 and became a professor in 1965. In 1976, he won the Citation for Distinguished Teaching from UC Davis. He served on the university-wide admissions and enrollment board.

Alder served as secretary of the MAA from 1960 to 1975 and was active for nearly fifty years in the Northern California Section of the MAA, earning its Sectional Certificate of Meritorious Service in 1998. He won the Lester R. Ford Award for his paper Partition Identities – from Euler to the Present in 1970. When this paper was published in the American Mathematical Monthly in 1969, the journal editor Harley Flanders wrote that Alder "has probably contributed more than anyone else to the present vitality of this Association." G.L. Alexanderson echoed this sentiment more than thirty years later, writing, "If one were asked, 'Who would be best described as representing the MAA?', the name that would leap to mind is 'Henry Alder.'"

External Resources

"Remembering Henry L. Alder (1922-2002)" (pdf) by G.L. Alexanderson; HTML version

Gung and Hu Distinguished Service to Mathematics Award citation

Remarks on the occasion of Alder's retirement as secretary by A.B. Willcox

MAA Officers Records, Henry L. Alder, Secretary, President, Past-President at the Archives of American Mathematics

Records of editors, presidents, and secretaries from MAA headquarters, Henry L. Alder, Secretary, 1959-1964 at the Archives of American Mathematics

Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member

Henry L. Alder Prize for Excellence in Teaching

The Mathematics Genealogy Project