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History of Mathematics at UGA

In 2023, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of our PhD Program. Read more about it here.

Historical Data:

     Faculty of the UGA Mathematics Department since 1945

     PhDs in Mathematics Awarded at UGA, 1951-2020

     Recent UGA Mathematics PhDs, 2021-present


History of Mathematics at UGA in the 1970's:  The Report of the Visiting Committee to Review Mathematical Sciences at the University of Georgia (December 1978), and the Georgia Supreme Court decision in Athens Observer v. Anderson (January 4, 1980), a landmark in strengthening the Georgia Open Records Act. Read more about this on  the website of Emeritus Professor Clint McCrory.


The University of Georgia was segregated until 1961. As late as November 1959, the American Mathematical Society advertised a colored hotel in its announcement for an AMS sectional meeting in the South. Read the 2021 Report of The Task Force on Understanding and Documenting the Historical Role of the AMS in Racial Discrimination. A personal account by Emeritus Professor Tom Brahana of the integration of the University of Georgia is found below. 

History of Mathematics at UGA in the years 1801-1969.

Tom Brahana, author of these historical notes.

Author: Thomas Brahana (1926-2021), Professor Emeritus, who also compiled the early data in the links above.


1. 1801-1820

2. 1821-1859

3. 1860-1900

4. 1901-1939

5. 1940-1969

Appendix: The Integration of the University of Georgia, a Personal Account


Classes in the Franklin College, which much later became known as the University of Georgia, were first taught in Athens in 1801. The only descriptions of the log cabin days suggest that the first class on the first day was a mathematics class. It is appropriate therefore, to trace the evolution of the role of mathematics and mathematicians in the development of the University during the last two centuries.

The University, just as an individual, is a product of its heredity and its environment. The heredity of a university is at first transmitted from existing older institutions via the faculty who trained in them and as time goes on from its own operation. The climate of the society which supports the university exerts the forces from the environment.

The account which follows is divided into six generations. Each section begins with a brief summary of historical events which provided the underlying mood of the people who lived here. The curriculum and its development, with special focus on mathematics, is briefly described. Next, the subject of the mathematical research is examined. Finally, short biographical accounts of some influential faculty members are given. The service to the University and the community at large is mentioned in these sketches.

An individual who writes a history must, of necessity, adopt a point of view. Mine is that of a long time mathematics faculty member, who has been here through more than one fourth of the time described. Much of the material was written during the Bicentennial of the Adoption of the Charter of the University in 1985, at which time I prepared a display which compared mathematics here at various times with what was going on in mathematics in the world at large. In the sixteen years since then, I have attempted to understand additional portions of the history of the University, some of which is reflected here.

Thomas Brahana

1. 1801-1820

a. The Historical Background

The formal end of the American Revolution, the Treaty of Paris, was negotiated in 1783. Five months following the signing of the treaty, Abraham Baldwin prepared the Charter of the University of Georgia. He had been a member of the Mathematics Faculty at Yale University from 1775 to 1779 and came to Georgia in 1783, influenced by Lyman Hall, a colleague at Yale. The charter envisions an educational system, with elementary schools, academies, and a University as the center of higher education at the top of the system. The adoption of the Charter in 1785 was one of the first acts of the Georgia Legislature. The legislative support of education, available to all citizens, did not exist anywhere in the world at that time. In fact, there were influential citizens in 1785 who could not read or write. Revolutionary War General Elijah Clarke, for whom our county is named, is an example.

In the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Baldwin represented Georgia, and it can be argued that his influence was enormous. In a dramatic vote switch he engineered the tie which forced the compromise- the number of Representatives is proportional to the population, and the number of Senators is two from each state.

Baldwin had been elected the President of the University in 1785 and made head of a committee to choose its actual location. The process became entangled in local politics, and the present site was finally settled in 1801. At that time, the Indian Territory extended from Tennessee to the Oconee River which is located at the edge of the campus.

Construction was begun on the main building of the new college in 1801 using money which had been raised by the sale and rent of land in the original grant in the Charter. The grant was generous, some 40,000 acres, but the area had not been specifically designated or surveyed, and the acreage from which payment was obtained was a small fraction of the amount voted.

Before classes were taught, Baldwin resigned, and his place was taken by Josiah Meigs, who had been a member of the Mathematics Faculty at Yale, and a former student of Baldwin. Meigs was the President and Faculty during the first year of classes; a second faculty member, William Jones, was added to teach Latin and Greek in 1802.

b. The Curriculum

The newly conceived legislative authorization for the educational system resulted in a shift of emphasis from those in Europe. A college education was viewed in part as an apprenticeship, and took on many characteristic properties of indenture. Students were closely supervised from the time they got up until they went to bed.

The minimum age for entrance to the college was thirteen. All who entered were required to pass entrance examinations in arithmetic, Latin, and Greek. Evidence of prior educational experience was not accepted as a substitute for these examinations at this time.

The course of studies at the Franklin College in a typical term in the early years was as follows: Freshmen studied arithmetic from about 5 o’clock until breakfast, Latin from 9 until 12 and Greek from 2 until 4. Sophomores advanced to algebra and geometry; with more Latin and Greek. The list of topics studied during the last two years included trigonometry, astronomy, natural philosophy (i.e. physics and chemistry), logic, history, composition and forensic disputation, and Latin and Greek. All students in each of the Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior classes had the same courses. Most of the time in class was spent on recitation.

In 1776 there were seven colleges in America; by 1800 there were nineteen. The typical college consisted of one or two buildings which housed approximately 100 young men.

The program here was modeled after the one at Yale; those at the other colleges, Harvard, William and Mary, Princeton, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Middlebury, … were much the same at the time, although divergences in the general approach to higher education were soon to occur.

In an attempt to recreate a plausible description of the mathematics syllabus one may assume that it consisted in a sequential coverage of a portion of one of the standard texts available at the time.

An arithmetic text by Nicholas Pike, with the extended title "A New and Complete System of Arithmetic composed for the Use of the Citizens of the United States", was published in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1788. This book was the first arithmetic text to be written in America which received wide-spread distribution. (An earlier book, published in 1729, was used only in a few classes at Harvard.) The preface to Pike’s Arithmetic contains testimonials by the Presidents of Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale.

The book is approximately 500 pages long, with some 200 sections. It begins with the rules for the elementary operations for integers, together with many examples worked out in detail. These are followed by sections about vulgar fractions, decimal fractions, rules for exchanging currency, tricks for rapid computation, extraction of square roots, computation of interest, commissions, annuities, the volumes of particular solids, and topics from elementary mechanics. The book may be summarized as a compendium of useful techniques and formulas, with examples completely worked out, in a wide diversity of practical applications. There are very few proofs. The formulas from the slightly more advanced topics which are presented are given with very little detail.

The first three quarters of the book is an excellent collection of common calculations, of the sort we hope are mastered by students by the time they reach high school. Assuming normal progress, a young person now is fourteen years old at the time of entering high school; the minimum age of entrance to the University at that time was thirteen. This may be interpreted as a scrap of evidence to support the "age and stage" theory — the natural mathematical stage of youngsters 185 years ago at age 13 was not essentially different from that of our own young people.

c. Research

A mathematician uses his specialized capabilities to discover things that were not previously known. In the early 19th century the overwhelming question involved the contents and nature of the North American continent. Josiah Meigs never seemed quite content unless he were measuring something or seeking an explanation of some force of nature. He agreed to carry out for Congress a study of the variation of the magnetic needle. He examined the Bible carefully to determine the time interval since the Creation. Nonetheless, research in the modern form, of publication by professionals for professionals, did not emanate from Georgia at this time.

d. Individuals from the Mathematics Faculty

Josiah Meigs, 1757-1822

Josiah MeigsJosiah Meigs was appointed Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia in 1800, with the understanding he would become President if Baldwin resigned.

Meigs graduated from Yale in 1778, and was appointed a tutor in mathematics there in 1781. In 1794 he became Professor of Mathematics. After four years he was forced to resign because of his outspoken advocacy of "Jeffersonian democracy".

When Meigs became President in 1801, he held the first classes in a log cabin. Simultaneously, he supervised the construction of the building now known as Old College. In 1806, when the building was completed, there were 70 students in the College, and 40 in the Academy which had been organized in 1803 to provide instruction to those whose qualifications for entrance were not sufficient.

In 1810 Meigs was forced to resign here because of political reasons. He became Surveyor General of the United States in 1812, and later Commissioner of the General Land Office. He helped found, and was President of George Washington University, located a few blocks from the national capitol.

Henry Jackson

In 1811, Henry Jackson, an Englishman and brother of the Governor of Georgia, James Jackson, became a mathematics instructor at the Franklin College. Three years later he went as secretary of the legation of William Crawford to France, and did not return until 1817. At that time he brought back $2000 worth of equipment to be used for chemistry, mineralogy, etc. He was offered, but refused, the presidency, preferring to remain a professor.

Others who taught mathematics

William Green, Professor, 1813-1816

2. 1821-1859

a. The Historical Background

The war of 1812 had a big effect on Georgia. The British armed belligerent Indians through Florida, still their colony, and there was a massacre of settlers in nearby Alabama. In 1814, and again in 1815, British fleets raided the south Georgia coast. In Athens in 1812, a large pow-wow by the Cherokees at Cedar Shoals induced near-panic and the settlers took shelter in Old College, but the Indians left without incident. The energy of the state turned to defense and education was a minor concern. In 1819, the Franklin College had slipped to a low ebb in its affairs. Classes were temporarily suspended.

After offering the presidency of the college to several individuals, the position was assumed by Moses Waddel, who was famous throughout the Southeast as a founder of log cabin academies. At this time, three additional faculty members were engaged. They were, Alonzo Church for mathematics, Henry Jackson and Ebeneezer Newton. When Waddel arrived there were 7 students. Three years later there were 120.

In the decade following 1820 the people of the southern United States were largely preoccupied with westward expansion, which included the removal of the Indians. This was hastened by the discovery of gold at Dahlonega, which led to a gold rush in 1829 bringing several thousand whites into Cherokee Territory.

In 1830 a disastrous fire occurred at the University which destroyed New College, the third main building on the campus here, built in 1823. The library was lost, students were domiciled with families in town and it was not clear that classes would be resumed.

Alonzo Church, the mathematics professor who had just become president, traveled throughout the state to raise money and recruit students.

Ante-bellum Georgia, from 1830 to 1859 was very prosperous, in large part because of the production of cotton using slave labor. James Camak, again a mathematics professor at the College in 1830, resigned and obtained the Charter for the Athens to Augusta rail line in 1833. The main purpose of the Georgia railroads at this time was the transportation of cotton, although students were able to come by train to the College Station, across the Oconee from the campus.

In the immediate pre-Civil War period, the inevitability of armed conflict became increasingly clear. Many military companies were formed in the state. The faculty of the College discouraged students from enlisting, but many did. There was much debate over secession, and widely differing opinions about slavery. After the secession, support for the Confederate government was nearly unanimous, but the states’ rights sentiment was still alive, complicating the relation between the Richmond government and the state.

b. The Curriculum

The Minutes of the Faculty of the Franklin College for the period 1822-1836 describe an evolution of the curriculum parallel with that which was taking place elsewhere. In 1823 surveying instruments were obtained by Alonzo Church. New course names were listed, Natural Philosophy, (Physics and Chemistry) and Moral Philosophy. At the time it was a punishable offense for college students to read novels. Freshmen and sophomores were not permitted to remove books from the library, and all students were required to pay a small fee when they used a book.

The course of studies was advertised in newspapers in 1832 in Savannah, Charleston, Macon and Augusta. These included lectures in Astronomy and the benefits resulting from mathematics to the useful arts. New course offerings in the advertisements are associated with new faculty members.

In 1833 the Catalogue contains the information that students in the Junior year will be instructed in Navigational engineering, conic sections, spherical geometry, spherical trigonometry and fluxions. Fluxions is the term used by Isaac Newton for Calculus, and my notes suggest this is the first specific mention of calculus surviving descriptions of the course of studies at the college. Charles McCay joined the faculty that year.

By 1840, the abstract for McCays’s courses included- "Differential and Integral Calculus- its principles and rules disengaged from the consideration of infinitely small quantities; its application to the drawing of tangents, to the limits of curves, to finding the center of gravity, to areas and centers of curves, the solidity of bodies bounded by curved surfaces, to questions of maxima and minima, and to central forces." The source listed for these lectures was Notes by the Professor, replacing the text Boucharlet’s Calculus listed the preceding years. An equally detailed description of McCays’s course on Civil Engineering is given.

c. Research

An important unsolved problem in the world during this period was the variation between the direction of north determined by a magnetic compass and the north defined by the axis of rotation of the earth, which is determined astronomically. Understanding was eventually achieved using measurements from a large number of widely separated geographical locations. Such measurements were taken here by members of mathematics faculty, beginning with Josiah Meigs, and those who followed. Henry Hull entertained at his home, a French astronomer, Nicholai, and together they made many observations. (The problem was laid to rest by the German mathematician C.F. Gauss, of Göttingen, who organized the central collection of observations.)

At the borderline between research and service was the problem of laying out of long straight lines on the surface of the earth. The Mason and Dixon line, which separates Pennsylvania from Maryland and Virginia, was laid out in the 1750’s. James Camak was one of two men directing the team which surveyed the long straight line between Georgia and Tennessee in 1818.

Finally, while not mathematical, there was research carried out in the botanical garden. Determination of which plants thrive here was an important project in the 1830’s. (The former garden is now the location of public housing.) In the ante-bellum period the faculty spent full time, well into the night, overseeing the students. Time in which to conduct research was not provided.

d. Individuals

James Camak

The Camak House, Athens, GA built in 1834

Camak HouseJames Camak was a professor of mathematics at the University of Georgia from 1817 to 1819, and joined the faculty again in 1829-30. He graduated from South Carolina College. In 1818 he was appointed by the state to help survey the boundary line between Georgia and Tennessee. He resigned as professor when Moses Waddell became president, married the daughter of Robert Finley, the former president, who died in the short period between his appointment in 1816 and the resumption of classes. Camak moved to Milledgeville, which had become the state capital in 1804, but was still a frontier town. In Milledgeville he was a cashier at the central bank. He became wealthy, and later moved back to Athens, and became a Trustee of the College in 1828.

Camak was the president of Georgia’s first railroad company. In 1833 the Charleston and Hamburg Railroad was completed in South Carolina, terminating across the Savannah River from Augusta. That year the Georgia Railroad was chartered, with Camak as its first president. The construction of the railroad was begun from Augusta in 1835, and completed to Athens in 1841. The terminus remained on the east side of the Oconee River for many years, it not being considered economic to build a bridge.

Camak conducted extensive agricultural experiments, and developed the Southern Cultivator of Augusta into the state’s best farm journal.

He was a member of the Committee of Vigilance in Athens, formed on November 10, 1860, immediately following the election of Abraham Lincoln. This group had a leading influence in the secession movement in the state, which culminated in the vote for secession in Milledgeville in January, 1861. (In the original test vote, 130 out of 296 preferred not to secede. A short while later, the vote for secession was unanimous.)

Camak’s son Thomas was an officer in the Confederate Army, and was killed during Pickett’s charge during the Battle of Gettysburg.

For a history of the controversy regarding the location of the 35th parallel marking the boundary between Georgia and Tennessee and Camak's role in it, see this article.

Moses Waddel, 1770-1840

Moses WaddelMoses Waddel began teaching mathematics when he was 14 years old in the school near his home in North Carolina. He trained for the ministry in Virginia, and became famous throughout the Southeast as the founder of log cabin colleges and as a preacher.

When he arrived in 1819, the University had slipped to a low ebb in its affairs. The preceding president, Robert Finley, died of typhoid fever contracted during an extended trip to raise funds for the University, before having taught a class here. There was very little confidence that the University would teach classes. However, three faculty members were engaged, Alonzo Church, Henry Jackson and Ebeneezer Newton. They began recruiting students. The minimum age of admission for students was set at 13. They taught Latin, Greek, and mathematics. All practical matters were taught in mathematics classes. By 1826 there were 100 students enrolled.

President Waddel resigned in 1829 to be able to devote full time to being a preacher. He later returned to Athens and died in 1840 at the home of his son.


Alonzo S. Church, 1793-1862

Alonzo Church became professor of mathematics at The University of Georgia in 1819. He was educated at Middlebury College in Vermont. He was the mathematics professor here until 1829, when he became president of the University. He continued teaching mathematics and moral philosophy until his retirement in 1859.

In 1825, on September 1, the minutes of the Faculty state that Professor Jackson was ill, and Professor Church took his class. The next day, 14 students presented a petition complaining that two mathematics assignments a day was an unreasonable requirement. When confronted by the faculty 7 of the students retracted, and 7 were dismissed from the University. (Of these, 5 were readmitted after a few days, when they apologized.)

When Church became president there were 114 students enrolled, and 6 faculty members (3 professors and 3 tutors). A major fire occurred in 1830. It was not clear that the university would survive. Church led a campaign to raise funds to replace the library and rebuild New College. New courses were listed — history, modern foreign languages, botany and surveying. While no electives were offered, the curriculum was evolving in a modest way.

At the end of his long tenure, there was a dramatic confrontation between Church and his faculty. The disagreements existed at three levels — should professors be required to proctor study hours? Should students be allowed elective courses? Was the earth created precisely as described in Genesis, or could one teach the new theory of historical geology?

A group of concerned students asked Judge Lumpkin to resolve this last question. His reply was an endorsement of creationism. The trustees asked the entire faculty to resign, and a new faculty was assembled to teach the 57 students who remained.

Henry Hull, 1799-1882

Henry Hull came to Athens in 1803 when he was four years old, when his father, Hope Hill, a Methodist minister, relocated from Washington, Ga. In 1808 Hope caused to be erected on the campus a chapel, not to be used by one denomination more than others.

Henry graduated in the class of 1815, following which he went to Johns Hopkins and obtained an MD. He then practiced medicine in Athens and became a Trustee of the College in 1825. When the professorship of mathematics became vacant in 1829 he succeeded to it, preferring the study of mathematics to the distasteful drudgery of a country practice.

In 1801, John Milledge, Governor of Georgia, 1802-6, bought and donated to the College 3000 acres adjacent to the present campus, to the west. In 1842, during a financial crisis when the appropriation by the state legislature was discontinued, Dr. Hull was authorized by the Trustees to survey and plat these lands, which were advertised and sold. The sum obtained at that time was $8500, which allowed the college to continue, although three faculty members were terminated.

In 1846 Hull retired to a farm near Athens, where he lived until he was 83.

Charles F. McCay, 1810-1889

Charles McCay began teaching as a tutor in mathematics in 1833, becoming a professor several years later. In the university bulletins he is listed as professor of civil engineering, and professor of natural philosophy at different times. (Natural philosophy was the name used then for the subjects we call physics and chemistry.)

Professor McCay had a tendency to be sharp towards unprepared students in class. One night in 1840, while he was checking that students were obeying the rules during study hours, several students entered his room, stole all of his books and clothing, and burned them on the quadrangle. McCay was certain that he knew the ringleader, an Athens boy. The boy’s mother told President Church that the boy had not left home on the night of the incident. A duel was arranged, to take place in the cemetery next to Baldwin Hall, but it was not fought.

Professor McCay left in 1854. He became professor of mathematics, and later, president at The University of South Carolina. He moved to Augusta, and became wealthy, using his knowledge of mathematics in the insurance field.

He left a bequest of $7000 to be used for the benefit of the faculty here, to draw interest compounded for 100 years. (It may be presumed that the faculty collected some money to replace his belongings in 1840.)

Others who taught mathematics, 1821-59

William Leroy Brown, Professor, 1854-59

Nahum H. Wood, Assistant Professor, 1847-1851


3. 1860-1900

a. The Historical Background

The secession of the 12 southern states, their organization as the Confederate States of America, and the resulting Civil War, 1861-1865, was one of the defining periods of American history. It was the discontinuity that led to an evolutionary jump in the development of the country and most of its institutions. The impact on those states in which the war was fought, for example Georgia, was different from that in which no battles occurred, for example Massachusetts.

The plantation system was the backbone of the economy of Georgia in 1860, and it produced a prosperity for the white population that had few equals in the United States. In the 1860 census, 44% of the people in Georgia were black, of whom 5% were freedmen.

The town of Athens had many large homes, built here as second dwellings by men who owned large plantations elsewhere in the state. The climate here on the plateau is cooler, and at that time healthier than that below the fault line. Some of the large houses were built so sons of the family could attend the College while living at home. Adjacent to these homes were slave dwellings.

The Franklin College had provided apprenticeship for those who were at the top of the plantation society, and consequently, its share of leaders of the Confederacy. Alexander Stephens, the Vice President was a member of the class of 1832. Robert Toombs, the Secretary of State, was in the class of 1824. Howell Cobb, President of the Provisional Congress, was a member of the class of 1834. His younger brother, Thomas R.R. Cobb, who penned the Confederate Constitution, was in the class of 1841. With the exception of Stephens, these men became Confederate generals.

The College contributed a large number of officers to the Confederate army, more than 100 in the incomplete list gathered by Augustus Hull. At least one former graduate became a Union general. The strict discipline imposed by the faculty in the ante-bellum days, together with the ability to do paperwork and otherwise deal with problems, transferred easily to military leadership.

After the firing on Fort Sumter at Charleston, S.C., on April 12, 1861, the sentiment in the South became polarized rapidly in support of secession. Loyalty oaths to the Confederacy were required of all men in some areas, and those suspected of Union sentiments were exposed to mob violence. The successive acts of conscription enacted by the Government in Richmond during the next two years resulted in a steady decrease in enrollment in the College. The students in the Law School enlisted en masse. Finally in 1863 classes were discontinued, after the Union army captured Chattanooga, and almost all of the remaining students and faculty, including the Chancellor, joined a military company raised in Athens.

During the war refugees from New Orleans, Mobile and Savannah were domiciled in Old College. The building which housed the preparatory school was converted to a hospital. Following the battles, wounded soldiers flooded the towns, and the large homes were convalescent homes for officers and relatives. A munitions plant was moved to Athens from New Orleans, which turned out 50 muskets a day in 1862, and continued during the war.

No belligerent Northern troops reached Athens during the war, although the cavalry raid of Stoneman rested two days in Watkinsville, 15 miles away, before they moved off along the Hog Mountain road to the Jug Tavern, now Monroe.

Following the surrender of R. E. Lee at Appomattox in April, 1865, and the subsequent collapse of the Confederate government, the status of the civil authority in the South was severely compromised. The top government officials, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens were imprisoned, Robert Toombs fled to Europe, and many others emigrated. The southern states were occupied, and within a month of the surrender, Federal troops encamped in Athens. Soldiers were quartered in all of the buildings on the campus except the library. The Chapel became the Freedmen’s Bureau. Throughout Georgia the emancipated slaves formed bands and subsisted on food stolen where they could find it. In Athens former Confederate officers were expelled from town, and the newspaper was seized. The occupying troops dealt with thieves harshly.

The occupation of the College buildings was relatively short lived; the northern soldiers were eager to return home and resume their lives. By September the College buildings were vacant. The departure created a power vacuum that left the town in a state bordering on anarchy.

There was at least one exception. The mathematics professor, Williams Rutherford, began teaching classes at all levels, largely attended by Confederate veterans who had flocked to town. These classes were conducted the way they had been in the 1850’s, based primarily on student recitation. By January enough students had assembled, there were 78, and the College reopened.

To hasten the reunion of the states, President Andrew Johnson issued an amnesty, and began appointing state governors for the seceded states. In Georgia the appointee was James Johnson, a member of the class of 1832 of the Franklin College. A new constitution for the state was adopted, and the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, was approved on December 5,1865, in a nearly unanimous vote by the new legislature. This was a condition for readmission to the United States, and the new legislature believed it had satisfied all of the conditions. However, the impeachment of President Johnson intervened, and the Republicans in Congress took over the reconstruction, and Georgia was not fully readmitted until 1871.

At this time in the South there was a complete absence of capital. The new constitution cancelled all debts in connection with the support of the rebellion. Confederate money and bonds were worthless. It was difficult, if not impossible, to begin rebuilding the railroads, the factories, the bridges and other infrastructure that had been destroyed during the conflict. The essential political divide at the time was between moderates, who believed that if capital could be obtained by the abandonment of some of the customs associated with slavery, you should do it, and the intransigent slavery apologists who would never give an inch.

Fortunately for the University, the moderates prevailed occasionally. The greatest financial boost came when the benefits of the Morrill Act of 1862 became available to Georgia in 1871. Under the Act Georgia received 270,000 acres of public land, the proceeds from which were to be used to encourage "agricultural and mechanical education". Degrees in these areas were added at the College in 1872, and the combined operation adopted the name, the University of Georgia.

The decade of the 1870’s saw the entire United States gripped in a depression. In Georgia these were years of the search for financial order, marked with bitter political infighting. By the 1880's, bootstrap efforts and the infusion of some northern capital had brought a shadow of the former prosperity to Georgia. Share-cropping, a method for obtaining farm labor without capital was codified in the laws. Textile mills, making use of cheap labor, were built with money from outside. Convict labor, chain gangs, rebuilt the roads and railroads.

Henry W. Grady, a member of the class of 1878 at the University, was editor of the Atlanta Constitution, and became the spokesman for the 'New South', giving speeches in the north inviting investment in the South. He was a classmate and friend of David C. Barrow, who soon joined the mathematics faculty of the University.

During the 1880's the enrollment of the University in Athens fluctuated between 150 and 200 students, and during the 1890's it increased, so that in 1901 there were 425 students enrolled in three schools, the Franklin College, the Law School, and the School of Agriculture and Mechanics.

The faculty of the University was responsible for organizing and opening several branches of the University System: Georgia Tech, 1888, Georgia State College for Women, Milledgeville, 1889, Georgia State College for Colored Youths, Savannah, 1890, the Normal School, Athens, 1894, and others.

b. The Curriculum

In the United States during the period from 1825 to 1875 an alternative approach to the structuring of a college education slowly emerged. This was the elective system, in which individual students had choices as to the courses in their programs of study. Harvard, in 1825, was the pioneer, when seniors could choose between chemistry and calculus. In 1838, the professor of mathematics there, Benjamin Pierce, who wished to conduct advanced courses at a higher level, made it possible for students to discontinue the study of mathematics after the freshman year.

The elective system permeated slowly through the universities in the United States. The first mention of it at the Franklin College occurred during the confrontation between Alonzo Church and the young members of the faculty in 1855. The younger faculty members, led by the LeConte brothers, advocated the introduction of electives, while President Church, in his 35th year of teaching mathematics at the College, was opposed to any change. President Church prevailed, the rest of the faculty was dismissed, and a replacement faculty was assembled. The new Professor of mathematics was Williams Rutherford.

The elective system did not arrive at the College until after the Civil War in 1869, when, under the influence of Chancellor Lipscomb, it was adopted in a major way. The junior and senior years became elective, and the A.B. degree was granted following the first two years of successful study. This was obviously introduced to accommodate the veterans and free dormitory space for the next generation. Nine years later, in another major revision, the degree after two years was abandoned, six new degree programs were introduced, each with a fixed curriculum based on four years of study. This was introduced by Chancellor Tucker, who also arranged with the Trustees that no tuition fees be charged to students.

The curriculum in mathematics can be inferred from examination of the University catalogues from 1860 to 1900. Calculus was the most advanced course offered until the introduction of the degree of Master of Science in Mathematics in 1889. In the period 1860 to 1872 it was taught in the Junior year, when it shifted to the Senior year. In 1889 it was again taught to Juniors.

The mathematics text books which were listed in the catalogues were those that were in widespread use in the country as a whole. Changes in the faculty correlate with changes in texts. In particular, Rutherford used books by Elias Loomis, and David Barrow used Church's Calculus, and Snelling listed Taylor's Calculus in 1889.

The Master of Science in Mathematics program in 1889 had 2 students apparently, who took courses in Determinants, Projective Geometry, Theory of Numbers, and Functions of a Complex Variable.

Charles M. Snelling joined the mathematics faculty in 1888, and books now in the library from his extensive collection suggest that he introduced the instruction of these advanced subjects here.

In 1897 the Catalogue states, "The Summer School in Mathematics will open June 19th and close August 7th. Work will be adapted to the individual needs of the students. The course is open to both sexes, and the fee is $20." This is the first mention of the admission of women to classes in the University. The general admission of women to the regular degree programs did not occur until after World War I, making this the next to the last of the state supported universities to do so. (Virginia was the last.)

In conclusion, the period 1860-1900 witnessed the evolutionary jump, from a single fixed curriculum based on classics, mathematics and science, to a university program with multiple degree options. The mathematics curriculum remained much the same throughout, culminating in the calculus for those choosing to do it. There were minor evolutionary changes brought about by new texts.

c. Research

There is no hint that members of the mathematics faculty during this period engaged in research in the way it is now defined. It should be remarked that very few universities in the United States had mathematics faculty who did. The American Mathematical Society was formed in 1894, with only a handful of members. The American Journal of Mathematics, established in 1878, depended for the first few years on contributions by Europeans.

Nevertheless, the members of the mathematics faculty here sought answers for the dominating questions of the periods in which they found themselves, and found answers with mathematical directness. These answers, in hindsight, seem obvious, but at the time were not. I have suggested that the concept of research be enlarged to include such activity, but now it is designated 'service'.

Using the extended definition, the research of Williams Rutherford was finding an answer to the question: How can we minimize the damage to our community caused by the collapse of the plantation system? His answer: Do the things we know how to do, modified by current needs. This included reopening the College and the introduction of the degree in Civil Engineering.

The research of David Barrow was finding an answer to the question: How can we maximize the benefits of the readmission of Georgia to the United States? His answer: Educate the young people of Georgia in the spirit of the 'New South'. This included the designing of the programs of Georgia Tech, the Normal School at Milledgeville, the school for blacks, Savannah State, and several other units of the University System, in whose establishment he was personally involved. At a practical level, steps such as these were required to make available the money from the Morrill Act. But in a larger sense, the provision to the state of educated persons from these new units was essential for the further development of the state. For example in 1896, the enrollment in Athens was 280, and in the total University System it was 2019.

When he became a member of the mathematics faculty in 1888, Charles M. Snelling immediately began to address the question: How can we provide the climate in which scientific research can be carried out? His answers: Establish a graduate program, take a years leave in Europe to learn advanced mathematics and study with leading research mathematicians, and bring to Athens a contemporary research library. While the things mentioned do not begin to cover the subsequent contributions of Barrow and Snelling, they are reflective of what they did before 1900.

d. Individuals from the Mathematics Faculty

William D. Wash

William D. Wash graduated from the Franklin College in 1855, and joined its faculty in 1856, in the replacement group assembled by President Church. He resigned to join the Confederate cavalry in 1861, and became a member of Morgan's Raiders. A comrade wrote: "He knew no fear. .. as cool in battle as if he did not know what was going on. At Cynthiana, Ky., he went ahead of his command amid a shower of bullets and minded them no more than a summer shower. …" At Bradyville, Tenn., March 1, 1863, he was wounded, and died a month later in a prison camp in Illinois.

Williams Rutherford, 1818-1896

Williams RutherfordWilliams Rutherford was born near Milledgeville, Ga., in 1818. His father graduated in the first class to do so at the Franklin College in 1804. His grandfather was a colonel during the Revolutionary War, serving under General Greene. Williams graduated from the College in 1838. He married Laura Cobb, whose brothers Howell Cobb and Thomas R.R. Cobb were important political spokesmen in the state during the formation of the Confederacy.

In 1856 Williams became the professor of mathematics at the Franklin College when he was 38 years old. Before that he carried on farming and conducted a grammar school for boys in Athens. The enrollment at the College had declined to 57 students; a minimum of 100 was needed for sound fiscal operation. The state contributed nothing, since its coffers were being filled in preparation for the impending conflict. Rutherford surveyed and platted some of the western portion of the Milledge tract, which later became Cobham, and now is the location of the Athens Regional Hospital. The sale of those lots provided the money needed to keep the College open in the turbulent period before the Civil War.

Following the surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox, he resumed teaching mathematics, at first without salary, in September, 1865, until enough students had been assembled to open the College in January, 1866.

Rutherford taught mathematics here for 23 more years. A.S. Hull wrote: ".. he inspired confidence and respect in every student who came under his instruction. .. all confessed that his simple faith and irreproachable life were a sermon that spoke louder to them than words. .." H.C. Tuck wrote: "Professor Rutherford always wore a high hat or 'beaver'... The study that he delighted to praise was Descriptive Geometry, which he called the 'Poetry of Mathematics'. One year the boys in the class, who were prepared for this, gave a big cheer."

Laura Rutherford, his wife, founded the Lucy Cobb Institute in 1859. This was the first school for girls in Athens. She was a charter member of the Soldiers' Aid Society in Athens, in 1861, and soon became its president. She became known as the 'Soldier's Friend', and later arranged for the erection of the Confederate Memorial, now on Broad Street, in 1872.

Millie Rutherford, his daughter, succeeded her mother as head of the Lucy Cobb Institute. Under her leadership it became a top-level finishing school for young women. Miss Millie was one of the most prolific writers of Confederate history of her time.

The Rutherfords epitomized individuals in the South who preserved much that was good from the plantation society.

David Crenshaw Barrow, 1852-1929

David C. BarrowDavid Barrow became an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia in 1878. In the period from 1878 to 1906 the Bulletins of the University list him as: Professor of Mathematics, Professor of Civil Engineering, Head of the combined Department of Math. and C.E., Head of Pure Mathematics, and in 1899, Dean of the Franklin College. In 1906 he became Chancellor of the University.

David C. Barrow was born in Oglethorpe County in 1852, on a large farm that had been in his mother's family, the Popes, for two generations. His grandfather was a private during the Revolutionary War, who signed on at Charleston, S.C., served in several battles, wintered at Valley Forge, and moved back to the South at the end of the war. In 1802 he purchased 1500 acres in Baldwin County, Ga. David's father inherited a large plantation from this land, but moved to the home of his wife's father. There were nine children in the Barrow family, seven surviving infancy. A school was built, and a teacher, Mr. Ripley Perkins, was brought in from Andover, Mass. David's mother died when he was three, and the governess became his stepmother. The family moved to Athens just before the Civil War, in order that the boys could attend the College.

David was eight years old when the war broke out. His elder brother, Pope, joined the cavalry, was captured and paroled after a battle at Columbus, Ga. A brother, James, was killed in a battle in Florida. David himself spent the war years in Athens, and when the soldiers quartered on the campus were leaving, he went to see them march out. A recollection of this event is contained in this excerpt from an address he gave on Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, 1921.

"Those Indiana men were good fellows. One of them gave me a horse when he left. They said he had been with them longer than any horse in the command. He was a stack of bones. There was one thing about him; the scent of blood made him frantic. I think his rider must have been killed in some battle. This aside, he turned out to be a remarkably fine horse, the best I ever had anything to do with."

David Barrow entered the Franklin College in 1869. He dropped out for a year after his freshman year, returned and graduated with the class of 1874. He learned mathematics from Williams Rutherford. The course of study at this time terminated with a course in calculus. David was a good student, methodical and serious, but was not described as brilliant.

When he graduated from college he joined the State Geological Survey. It was felt that work in the open air was indicated to improve his health. During this period he traveled extensively in North Georgia, developing a feeling for the area which never left him. He left the Survey after two years and entered the practice of law with his brother, Pope.

The practice of law was also not his metier. When a position opened at the University for an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics in 1878, he did find what he liked doing. He liked teaching mathematics to young men of college age. According to his biographer, Thomas Reed: "He had a method of teaching largely his own. According to the methods of the present day, he would have been lacking in a number of the requisites for the most effective teaching. Yet he could get an amazing amount of work out of his students, and he turned out of his classes many able mathematicians and engineers. He was fond of the work of helping the backward student. He never tired in giving special instruction outside of class hours to those who were lagging in their work. His sympathetic touch, his candor and sincerity, his plain, straightforward methods had a gripping effect on all who sat under his tutelage. He knew how to handle boys- that pretty much tells the whole story."

When he became Chancellor in 1906 only 37 acres remained of the original campus of 1801. When he resigned in 1925 the campus contained more than 1000 acres. During this period the enrollment increased from 400 to more than 1600 students. He lectured throughout the state in favor of compulsory school attendance, and while he was not a firebrand, he admitted in a quiet way, that this meant all of the citizens of the state.

It would appear that he did not pursue the study of mathematics much beyond that he had learned from Rutherford. On the other hand he solved many of the outstanding problems facing him in a very logical and practical way, and his most influential close associates were mathematicians.

Charles Melton Snelling, 1862-1939

Charles Melton SnellingCharles M. Snelling became an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University in 1888, a Professor in 1897, Head of the Mathematics Department and Dean of the Franklin College in 1906. He became Chancellor of the University in 1926, and the first Chancellor of the University System in 1932.

Snelling was a graduate of the Virginia Military Academy in 1884. He taught mathematics there when he graduated, then at the Georgia Military Institute in 1885-86. When he came to the University he taught mathematics and was the Colonel of the Corps of Cadets.

In 1893-1894 he studied mathematics in Europe, at Gottingen and Berlin. Snelling was a very able administrator. The program of military instruction at the University was one of only fifteen in the United States which were empowered to commission officers in 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I. Under his direction the food service facilities at the University were centralized. All students dined together at Denmark Hall, the building which now houses the School of Landscape Architecture. Much of the food came from the University farms and dairy. The charge was $8 a month for board, and refunds were made at the end of the year from the surplus. The University farm was purchased using the profits from this source.

When he was Dean of the College it was his custom to visit every student who was sick, every day. He arranged for the bequest which provided for the Gilbert Infirmary. When he was Chancellor he suggested to the Littles the bequest which resulted in the construction of the new Library in 1953.

Others who taught mathematics

J. Pembroke Jones, 1866-67

George Bancroft, 1876-78

4. 1900-1939

a. The Historical Background

The Spanish-American War, 1898, signaled the emergence of the United States as a major world power. During the next nineteen years the increase in foreign commerce, communication and cultural exchange were the background for the events which led to the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917. The substantial influx of fresh troops provided by the U.S. broke the stalemate of trench warfare that had settled over Europe, and the Allies emerged victorious, at a tremendous cost in lives and national wealth to the European countries.

In the United States the post war boom, during which the love affair of Americans with the automobile took root, saw the increase in mobility become the expected norm of all but the very poor. After a decade, the general rise in the standard of living was interrupted by a crippling depression, which engulfed the Western world, bringing commerce, manufacturing, investment and agricultural production to a fraction of their former vitality.

The emergence from the depression in the 1930’s in this country was accompanied with the liberal programs of the New Deal: the Social Security Program, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the federal funding for the erection of public buildings, schools, post offices, court houses and public health facilities under direction of the W.P.A., the federal regulation of the stock markets by the Securities Exchange Commission, and many other programs were all part of the New Deal.

In 1939 Europe became embroiled in World War II, and in the first two years the United States expanded its production to supply its allies, Great Britain, France, and Russia, with the necessities for conduct of the war.

In the state of Georgia, during this whole period, the major currents in the country were blended with its historical legacy, dating back to the Plantation Era and the Civil War. In particular, the roles in society given to blacks and whites was never far from the general consciousness, both publicly and unexpressed. In the census of 1910, blacks were 45% of the population of the state, and in 1940 it had decreased to 34%, reflecting a significant emigration of blacks to northern cities.

Georgia developed a two party system within the Democratic Party, based on the issue which had surfaced already in 1871, at which time the allocation of federal funds was made contingent on the extension of civil benefits to blacks. Public education is a civil benefit, important in the wide panoply of these things, and it is easier to trace its evolution, perhaps, than that of some of the other benefits.

Georgia had maintained segregated schools from the beginning. In 1900 public education for white students lagged behind that in the northern states, but not incomparably. Whatever funding that was available was administered by whites and used primarily for their schools. The availability of public education for black children was virtually non-existent. Most white children who lived in rural areas walked to one-room schools where teachers had little education beyond the elementary level. The school term was five months. There were few public high schools. It was not until 1912 and 1919 that amendments to the state constitution were passed incorporating high schools into the public educational system and requiring local taxes to be levied for their support.

In 1910, in counties with a black population more than 50%, school authorities spent an average of \$12.34 for each white child, and \$1.50 for each black child. In 1914 there was only one public high school for black students in the state, in Athens. By 1940, slow but steady progress had resulted in many improvements. The State Board of Education established uniform policies governing the courses of study, the selection of school books, certification of teachers and accreditation of the schools themselves. In 1920, there were 169 accredited four-year high schools for whites in the 159 counties; in 1940 there were 431.

The evolution of higher education was directed by the same forces as those acting on primary and secondary schools. The general inadequacy of funding, the U.S. Supreme Court acceptance of the principle of ‘separate but equal’, and the administration of all public funding by whites, led to extreme differences in the quality of instruction in the separated colleges. In 1923 a report was published nationally which said that the black college, Savannah State, was actually an elementary and secondary school. As a result the Federal Government threatened to terminate all educational support to Georgia. Some reform was instituted at this time, not enough to solve the problem.

Georgia was more fortunate than its neighbors in possessing a viable system of private black colleges, funded by northern philanthropists, dating back to the Reconstruction era. These schools led in abandoning remedial courses, and replacing industrial education with liberal arts, teacher training and biological and physical sciences.

b. The Curriculum

When Walter B. Hill became Chancellor of the University in 1899, he began the expansion of the role of education in the state which dominated its development in the next forty years. Hill was a successful, well connected lawyer in Macon, Ga., when he was appointed Chancellor. He was the first effective fund raiser in the modern sense to be the chief executive officer of the University. From 1800 to 1900, contributions to the University were \$180,000, excluding those from the Federal Government. From 1900 to 1906 they were \$308,000. Significant expansion in the teaching of Agriculture and Education took place. He arranged for the Board of Trustees to visit the University of Wisconsin for several days. He died in 1906 of pneumonia, contracted on a visit to the black college, Savannah State. During his short tenure, David C. Barrow was Dean of the Franklin College and Professor of Mathematics, serving, if you like, an apprenticeship for his own long tenure as Chancellor. It is clear that Barrow was strongly influenced by Hill, and that he successfully implemented the lines of development that had been proposed.

The University Bulletins reflect major changes in the University, but the mathematics curriculum for undergraduates remained virtually constant from 1900 to 1932. Pre-calculus courses were required for all degrees, and provisions were made for getting a small number of degree recipients proficient in calculus. As time went on, a few courses such as Differential Equations, Determinants and Theory of Equations were available for those with credit for calculus. In addition, Statistics and Theory of Investment grew with the expansion of the School of Commerce.

Until the mid 1920’s, all degree programs were subject to the approval of the Dean, but the listed degree programs were advisory. There is no explicit mention of major fields of study, with the exception of a note in 1913, which states: "Candidates for the BS degree who have mathematics for their major must take Course 5 (Calculus) in the Junior year and are advised to take 3 hours more in the same year, leaving only 3 hours for the Senior year."

The Graduate program in the University was functioning in the period before World War I in a very modest way. In 1908 there were four graduate students in the University, including one studying mathematics, Tomlinson Fort. Relatively soon, courses designed for those who taught in colleges became the backbone of the graduate program, and Summer School enrollment was much greater than during the regular terms.

During and after World War I there were changes. In 1917 Military Science became required. Following the war a program of Rehabilitation was funded by the Federal Government which had almost as many students as those who enrolled in the regular degree sequences. This program consisted of industrial and agricultural courses, and certificates were given after two years. By 1925 this program had dried up, to be replaced by short courses in the agricultural extension division.

In the 1930’s a modest expansion occurred in the mathematics offerings along with the enrollment increase in the University. By 1937 the number of advanced undergraduate courses listed had increased to twelve, half to be taught if there was sufficient interest.

c. Research

Research in mathematics by a member of the faculty at the University, in the modern interpretation of articles in journals intended for use by professionals, had its first example in the first decade of the 20th century. In 1907 in the Annals of Mathematics, R. P. Stephens published a paper, "On a system of parastroids". In 1911 the annual Reports of the Chancellor to the Board of Regents describe other research projects such as a monograph, by R. S. Pond, of 30 or 40 pages, "Construction and classification of the thirteen types of collineations in space".

There is no mention of research of this sort by mathematicians in the Reports from this time until 1926, in the first report submitted by Chancellor Snelling after the retirement of Chancellor Barrow. That year R. P. Stephens gave an address to the Georgia Academy of Science on "Applications of the Turn to Space Geometry", D. F. Barrow made a study, "Defining an iterated exponential function", and Pope Hill conducted an extended experimental test of the laws of probability.

Chancellor Barrow’s Reports during the years surrounding World War I indicate a strong participation of the members of the mathematics faculty in the adaptation of the University to the problems of the times. Dean Snelling was instrumental in bringing to the campus regular army personnel who administered the Student Army Training Corps, the forerunner of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. The reports during these years contained an increasing number of statistical analyses, on such diverse topics as the health of students and the number of dances held on campus.

d. Individuals from the Mathematics Faculty

Tomlinson Fort, 1886-1970

Tomlinson Fort joined the Faculty of the University in 1907 as an instructor of mathematics. He received an AB degree here in 1906, and he was the first person to obtain an MA in Mathematics here, in 1909. He then attended Harvard University and received his Ph.D. there in 1912. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled "Linear Difference Equations". He is the author of a book, "Infinite Series", Oxford University Press, 1930, and several mathematics texts.

Tomlinson was a member of several mathematics faculties during his career: University of Michigan, 1913-17, University of Alabama, 1917-23, Hunter College, 1923-27, Lehigh University, 1927-45. He was Dean of the Graduate School there, 1938-45. He returned to the University of Georgia, 1945-54, and was Head of the Mathematics Department until 1952. In 1955 he went to the University of South Carolina. During his tenure here he laid the groundwork for the Ph.D. program in mathematics. He hired Gerald Huff and Clifford Cohen, and arranged for the purchase of the Research Library of the American Mathematical Society when they discontinued this service to their members. He was active in the professional societies, serving as an Associate Secretary of the AMS, Vice President of the Mathematical Association of America.

Tom came from a distinguished family in Georgia. His grandfather, Tomlinson Fort, was a Captain in the War of 1812, a member of Congress, and a Trustee of the University of Georgia from 1829-1856. He was the author of a book of medical treatments, the first published in the South, 1849. His father, John Porter Fort, fought in several battles in the Civil War, dug the first artesian well in Georgia, and was responsible for the development of the apple and peach industries in North Georgia. He was given an honorary Doctor of Science Degree here in 1909, the year Tom got his MA. Tom traveled extensively, and in 1930 drove from Johannesburg, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt, climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro in between.

Roswell Powell Stephens, 1874-1954

Roswell P. Stephens became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in 1907, Professor in 1909, Head of the Department in 1926, and Dean of the Graduate School from 1928 to 1943. In addition to serving as Dean, he also is listed in the General Catalogue as serving as Department Head for the years

Roswell was born in Barnesville, Ga., in 1874. He graduated from Gordon Military Institute in 1892, entered the University of Georgia in 1894 and received the BA degree in 1896. He taught in the public schools of Smithville, Ga. in 1897-99 and in Andrew College in 1899-1901. He received a scholarship to do advanced work at Johns Hopkins University in 1902, and received a Ph.D. in Mathematics there in 1905. For two years he taught at Wesleyan College in Connecticut.

He was the first Ph.D. in Mathematics to teach at the University, and the first to have a paper published in a mathematical journal. It was entitled "The Pentadeltoid", and appeared in the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society in 1906. The area of mathematics in which he did his research is algebraic geometry. His published works dealt with the construction and properties of higher plane curves. He was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, England, in 1923-24, and wrote a paper, "The application of the turn to space geometry", 1925. He wrote papers on the history of science in Georgia, and was one of the founders of the Georgia Academy of Science in 1922, its President in 1923.

The Bulletins during his tenure as Dean of the Graduate School describe a steady and genuine expansion of the master's degree programs at the University, which made possible the establishment of the various Ph.D. programs following World War II.

David Francis Barrow, 1888-1970

David F. Barrow became an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia in 1920, Professor in 1923, and was Head of the Department for a brief period in 1944-45.

David was born in Athens in 1888, the son of David Crenshaw Barrow, who was at that time a mathematics professor at the University. He graduated from Athens High School and entered the University in 1906, graduating in 1910 with AB and BS degrees. He then spent three years at Harvard University, obtaining an MA in 1911, and a Ph.D. in 1913. The next year he studied in Europe, at Turin, Italy, and other places. On his return he married Mary Frances Arnold, of Philomath, Ga., and became an instructor at the University of Texas, 1914-1916. During 1917-18 he was an instructor at the Sheffield Scientific School. In 1918 he was briefly in the armed services, doing office work in the aircraft service, and was discharged at the end of hostilities.

In 1920 he began teaching at the University, and continued until he retired in 1956. During most of this time he was one of two Professors in the Department. The Bulletins indicate that he was responsible for the year long course in calculus during most of those years. He was well liked as a teacher, inheriting his father’s enjoyment of helping students solve problems. He wrote a paper "Can a robot calculate the table of logarithms?", previewing a subject of major interest following the advent of the electronic computer.

Forrest Cumming, 1891-

Forrest Cumming became an Instructor of Mathematics at the University in 1923, Assistant Professor in 1928, and Professor in 1940. In 1944 he resigned to enter business.

He was graduated from Griffin High School in 1906, attended the University of Georgia, 1910-13, obtaining the AB degree in 1913, and an MA in 1925. He later attended graduate school at Columbia University. The Bulletins over the years indicate that he taught Statistics and the Theory of Investment, as well as pre-calculus courses. A person of the name of Forrest Cumming died in 1962 in a tragic plane crash in Orly Field, Paris, France, along with his wife Inez Parker Cumming. Of the 122 passengers that died, 106 were Atlantans. We have not yet been able to verify that this person is the same person as Professor Forrest Cumming.

Pope Russell Hill, 1894-1978

Pope Hill became a Tutor in Mathematics in 1925, Instructor in 1926, Assistant Professor in 1929, and Associate Professor in 1943. He retired in 1962.

Pope was born in Taccoa, Ga., in 1894, and graduated from high school there in 1911. He won a scholarship offered by the Southern Railway in a competitive examination, entered the University of Georgia in 1912, and graduated in 1916 with a BS in Agriculture. He taught science at the Taccoa High School, 1916-17, and at the Spring Place, Ga., High School, 1917-18. Then he enlisted in the Navy, and was stationed in Charleston, S.C., until the end of hostilities. He attended Emory University, 1922-23, the University of Georgia, 1925-26, obtaining the MS degree in 1926. He attended the University of Wisconsin, 1928-29.

Pope was popular with undergraduate students. Numerous stories were told about him. It was his custom to throw a blackboard eraser out of the window during class, and say that the laws of probability, applied at the atomic level, stated that there was non-zero probability that the eraser would bounce back. One year, knowing that the demonstration was due, a student waited below and threw the eraser back into the classroom. In another demonstration he challenged his statistics classes with the assignment- some of the students were to flip a coin 100 times and record the sequence of results, while others were to write down a sequence of 100 heads and tails without flipping, without indicating to him which method was used. He then used standard statistical tests to determine which method was used. He held regular discussion classes in his home, in which philosophical questions were addressed.

Wightman Samuel Beckwith, 1886-1977

Wightman Samuel BeckwithWightman Beckwith came to the University of Georgia in 1932 as an Associate Professor of Mathematics. Prior to that he had taught at the Georgia State Teachers College, Athens, 1926-31.

Wightman was born on his father's farm in western Jasper County, near Mansfield Georgia in 1886.   He graduated from the Georgia Military Institute, 1906, and received an AB degree from Emory, 1909. He taught at Centenary College, in Louisiana, 1909-12, Texas A and M, 1915-16. He obtained an MA from Harvard in 1917, and was on the faculty of Ohio Northern University, 1917-23. Before he came to Athens he did graduate work at the University of Chicago.

The Bulletins indicate that he offered courses in Elliptic Integrals and the History of Mathematics.

Iris Callaway, 1885-1968

Iris Callaway became an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University in 1932. Prior to that she had taught in the Georgia State Teachers College, Athens, from 1913-32.

Iris was born in Wilkes County, Ga., and attended High School in Lexington, Ga. She attended the State Teachers College, 1909-11, and several summer schools- Columbia University, 1912, Peabody College, 1917-1925, University of California, 1927. She received a BS from Peabody, 1920, and an MS there in 1925. She retired in 1946.

The Bulletins indicate that she taught pre-calculus classes during her tenure at the University.

Charles Morton Strahan, 1864-1947

Charles M. Strahan was an 1883 graduate of the UGA professional engineering program, and professor of Engineering from 1890 to 1933. In the General Catalogue for 1933-34, Charles M. Strahan is listed as Professor of Applied Mathematics and Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering. He is later listed as Professor of Mathematics. In the 1946-47 Catalogue, he is listed as Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering.

Charles and his wife Margaret had a house on campus where the Law Library is located now. Charles Strahan designed Terrell Hall, which was completed in 1905 and currently houses the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Graduate School. Terrell Hall occupies the site of an earlier building, Science Hall, which burnt down in 1903.

Others who taught mathematics, 1901-1939


Robert S. Pond, 1910-20 (Ph.D. University of Kansas, 1910)

E.R.C. Miles, 1919

James P. Hill, 1920-22

Augustus H. Stevens, 1921-22

Edwin M Everett, 1923-25

David J. Campbell, 1926

Walter E. Sewell, 1926-27

David H. Hardin, 1927-28

H. Miot Cox, 1933


William W. Weber, 1916

Claud V. Brown, 1923-24

Clayton Aiken, 1927

George Florence, 1927

Lorimer Freeman, 1929

M.P. Jarnigan, 1929-30

Ella Sue Minor, 1929-30

Arthur M. Fulton, 1930

Vertie D. Prince, 1931

5. 1940-1969

a. The Historical Background

The active participation of the United States in World War II began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and ended when the atomic bombs were exploded in August, 1945, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war years saw major changes in life in our country. There was a draft of young men aged 18 to 35 and rationing of gasoline, food and shoes. Many homes displayed small flags with stars to indicate that members of the family were serving in the armed forces. The enormous potential of the United States was drawn into the war effort, and the mass production of armaments, vehicles, airplanes, ships and food tapped resources we hardly knew were there.

The universities of the country were enlisted to provide “holding pens” for large numbers of selected service men while simultaneously teaching them in courses at the college level in programs such as the Army Student Training Corps (ASTP) and the Navy V-12 College Training Program.

During the early days of WWII a situation developed at the University of Georgia which had state wide and national consequences. This was the Cocking Affair. At a faculty meeting of the School of Education on March 10, 1939, in reply to a question, “Would it be possible to try an experimental classroom in which white and black children were educated together?”, Dean W. D. Cocking said, “Well, that might be a good idea.”

Two years later this exchange was brought to the attention of Eugene Talmadge, then Governor of Georgia, by a disgruntled member of the Education School. In the spring of 1941, Governor Talmadge asked the Board of Regents to terminate the contract of Cocking, and they voted against termination. He then asked several members of the Board to resign, and their places were immediately filled by Talmadge with individuals who were certain to vote for termination. Governor Talmadge came to Athens, and six more faculty members were summarily terminated, when they spoke in support of Cocking. The firings of the professors were widely reported in newspapers throughout the country. As a result, in December 1941, two or three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Southern Association of Colleges suspended the accreditation of the University of Georgia, and later, of the other units of the System.

The Cocking Affair was responsible for the widespread endorsement of the Statement of Principles of Academic Tenure which had been formulated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Colleges, which represented administrators. The University community, including the students, were very upset with the loss of accreditation. Among other consequences, credit for work done here was not transferable to institutions in the Southern Association or those with whom they had agreements.

In early 1942 the Student Political League was organized in Athens, which had members from other institutions in the state. They campaigned for Ellis Arnall, Governor Talmadge’s opponent in the 1942 election, writing thousands of letters, conducting a stump speech tour of the state, arranging radio addresses from WSB and WGAU. In the Democratic primary on September 9, Arnall won decisively and he was elected in November. In early January the legislation creating a non-political Board of Regents for the University was passed and soon after accreditation was restored.

The impact of the war was substantial, but was not felt immediately. The drop in enrollment from 1941 to 1942 was 12%. This was balanced by the location of the Navy Pre-Flight school here in June, 1942. This program provided basic training for future Navy pilots, and was one of four of this type in the country. There were 1500 cadets on the campus, on average, who stayed for 3 months of vigorous physical training and classroom instruction. They used 7 dormitories and 32 buildings in all, and federal funds were provided to build and upgrade many facilities on thee campus.

From 1942 to 1943 the enrollment of regular students dropped almost 40%, reflecting the effect of the draft and loss of dormitory space. Many younger faculty members were given leaves of absence to serve in the armed forces, or otherwise take part in the war effort. Among the students, young women took over many functions, such as producing the Red and Black, and the yearbook, the Pandora, that formerly had been performed by men. At the end of the war, in 1944-45, 68% of the enrollment was female, as opposed to 39% in 1940-41. On reflection, it can be seen that the seeds were being planted for the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960's.

A dramatic event occurred in 1943. This was the mobilization of the Enlisted Reserve. In 1942-43 the enrollment in the ROTC unit was 739 students, most of whom were in the Enlisted Reserve. The Reservists were called up on the same day, resulting in a loss of about one third of the male enrollment. Many of these young men were hastily prepared for the Normandy invasion and later participated in the Battle of the Bulge. The end of the war in Europe, which formally was designated VE Day, occurred on May 7, 1945, and the end of the war in the Far East in August, 1945.

The demobilization was rapid and preparation for receiving the returning veterans was already in place. Benefits for veterans were provided by the GI Bill, which, among other things made possible low interest loans for building houses, unemployment grants and inexpensive life insurance. The most widely exercised benefits were the grants provided for tuition and living expenses to veterans who returned to the colleges and universities. The enrollment figures listed for the University in 1944-45 were 2297, for 1945-46 were 4179 and for 1946-47 were 7214. The surge of returning veterans resulted in permanent changes in the nature of higher education, here and elsewhere.

University housing for all of the students admitted did not exist at the end of the war. At the University of Illinois in Urbana I witnessed veterans walking down residential streets knocking on every door seeking rooms to rent. The Dean of Men here, William Tate, in his annual report indicated that the same situation prevailed in Athens. The initial surge was not met with a corresponding increase in the number of faculty. For example, in the Annual Reports for 1946-47 the total number was 347, and in 1948-49 was 391, full and part time. The competition for qualified college-level teachers was brisk in the whole country, and as a result much of the classroom instruction was carried on by individuals whose positions were understood to be short term.

The appropriation by the State Legislature has been based on enrollment since it began and in addition the G. I. Bill provided for direct subsidies to the University based on the number of veterans enrolled. As a result the University had a budget surplus which, in part, was directed to the initiation of the doctoral programs, Ph.D.’s and Dr.Ed.’s. As qualified professors became available, they were hired.

The euphoria that gripped the country in the immediate aftermath of World War II was shattered in September, 1949, when it was announced that the Russians had exploded an atomic bomb. Persons in this country with an incomplete understanding of the world-wide nature of science and scientific engineering had assumed that the monopoly enjoyed by the United States in this area would endure for the forseeable future. When it was learned that spies had transmitted technical details to the Russians, a firestorm of political protest occurred. The leader of this activity was Senator Joseph McCarthy, from Wisconsin, the chairman of the investigating committee. In February, 1950, he announced in a political speech that he had a list of 70 some members of the State Department who were Communists. It was later established that there was no evidence to justify these accusations. Similar attacks were leveled against members of the academic community. Many states launched parallel inquiries by committees of their legislatures. McCarthy extended his accusations to personnel of the army, and in a series of hearings in the Senate, which were nationally televised, in confrontation with the general in charge of security at Los Alamos, he lost the confidence of the American public and his colleagues in the Senate.

The fallout of McCarthyism in academia was the widespread adoption of the “Loyalty Oath’. The state of Georgia adopted a vigorous loyalty oath, in which one must certify non-membership in the Communist Party. The governor, Herman Talmadge (son of former governor Eugene Talmadge), removed the condition that one must certify that one's parents had not been communists.

It was the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) that took the lead in responding to the accusations of widespread disloyalty in academia. As a result, the local chapter here contained a cadre of individuals willing to address matters of policy.

In June, 1950, the North Koreans invaded South Korea and the United States provided much of the United Nations resistance force. The draft was reinstated, without the universal acceptance that prevailed during WWII. The Cold War entered its Far Eastern phase. Fighting in Korea ended when President Truman relieved General MacArthur, who wished to pursue the retreating North Koreans deep in their own territory, risking Chinese intervention.

During the 1950’s the post-war crop of new Ph.D.’s came onto the academic market. Prestigious universities were the first to replace non-Ph.D. instructors hired during the late 1940’s. For example, at Dartmouth in 1953, there were six new mathematics Ph.D.’s hired to replace five instructors who were terminated that year. In 1954, when I came to the University, the Mathematics Department had five Ph.D.’s. Before WWII there had never been more than two, David Barrow and R. P. Stephens. The young faculty at the University in the 1950’s was a socially cohesive group, gathering frequently with all departments with young, research oriented Ph.D.’s represented. A majority of this group were Southerners, although a few, like myself, were not.

In January, 1961, the University of Georgia became the first southern university to be integrated, when Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter were admitted. This event had significant local, state and national consequences. In order to maintain the focus and style of this history of mathematics here, my description and analysis of the integration is relegated to the Appendix. The first African-American to obtain a doctoral degree at the University of Georgia was Shirley Mathis McBay in 1966. Dr. McBay's Ph.D. is in mathematics, and she is also the first woman to obtain a doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of Georgia.

The involvement of the United States in the Vietnam conflict began in 1954 when a small group of advisors was sent to help the South Vietnamese. Major involvement can be dated from 1964, following patrol boat attacks on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. The U.S. began heavy bombing of North Vietnamese installations, both above and below the boundary separating the two countries.

In December, 1964, there were about 20,000 U.S. personnel in South Vietnam. Over the next four years the U.S. forces in Vietnam increased to 530,000. Support and aid to the North Vietnamese from China and Russia can be dated from Chairman Mao’s statement in 1965 that if North Vietnam were invaded, China “would not sit idly by”.

The United States policy in the years of President Johnson and Secretary of State Dean Rusk was called “domino theory”. This was the belief that if Vietnam became Communist, then the adjacent countries would soon follow. Attempts to begin peace negotiations were constantly made by the U.S. and its allies, but were uniformly rebuffed by Ho Chi Minh, the dictator of North Vietnam.

In January 1968, after two years of heavy infiltration, the Communists launched simultaneous attacks on all 40 urban centers in South Vietnam in what is known as the Tet offensive. It is estimated that 60,000 Communist soldiers were killed, as opposed to 10,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. There were guerilla incursions which reached thee presidential palace in Saigon and other symbolic places. This acted as a psychological victory for the North Vietnamese, but later in the year they were unable to mount a similar offensive. During the offensive thousands of U. S. soldiers were killed.

Here at home the war was never very popular. In 1967, the Military Selective Service Act was passed to provide soldiers for the troop buildup. It contained a provision that a man could qualify for a student deferment if he could show he was making satisfactory progress toward a degree. This and other technicalities tended to discriminate against non-college bound men and they made up a majority of the draftees. This led to conscription becoming a major social issue. The number of demonstrations increased, and emigration to avoid the draft became significant. The peace movements, which had originated on campuses, overflowed to majo urban centers and there were mammoth rallies in New York, Washington and San Francisco during 1967.

During 1968 new forms of protest emerged. Sit-in’s by radical students at Columbia University in New York caused classes to be suspended. Local chapters of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) were in communication with each other consulting about strategy. This consisted of joining with students who had grievances unrelated to the war to make common protest.

Here at the University the realization that the student regulatory program was outdated was in the process of being absorbed in the fall of 1967. The program, under the direction of Dean of Students William Tate, had not been much modified since the 1920’s. The program here was based on the legal concept “in loco parentis”, which held that university officials could require of a student anything that a reasonable parent could require of a child. This legal concept had been found inadequate in several cases, notably the Dixon case, in which the ruling stated that the rudiments of due process should be present in college disciplinary actions. In addition, here at the University the regulations for women were substantially different from those for men. Curfews, sign-ins and sign-outs were a standard part of each co-ed’s life, but this was not the case for boys. The campus equal rights groups were also in communication with other campuses through organizations such as Rights Now.

During the week of April 10-16, 1968, there was a sit-in at the Academic Building here. The protesters were a coalition of youngsters who were demonstrating in favor of equal rights for co-eds and a small number of anti-war activists. It was estimated that 300 students were sitting-in at the peak of the involvement, but students wandered in and out. The Office of the Attorney General, acting for the University, obtained an injunction in Superior Court, Judge Barrow, which ordered the students to leave the building. The students left peaceably, and the coalition dissolved amicably. A more detailed description of student unrest and the establishment of the Student Judiciary is relegated to the Appendix.

In 1968, President Johnson did not run for re-election, citing student unrest as one of his reasons. The Democratic candidate, George McGovern, advocated immediate, unconditional withdrawal from Vietnam, and his opponent, Richard Nixon, campaigned on a policy of making the South Vietnamese strong enough to defeat the Communists without the use of U.S. forces. After President Nixon’s inauguration in 1969, the U.S. began its disengagement from the Vietnamese conflict, withdrawing troops and cutting back the bombing attacks. The last U.S. troups left in 1973 and in 1975 Communist forces overran the South Vietnamese regions, and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

b. The Curriculum

During the war years, 1941-1945, the curriculum remained for practical purposes unchanged. There were 10 courses offered beyond calculus, and these were the same as those that appeared in the 1920’s. The effect of the war can be observed—class size and teaching loads increased. In 1943 a pamphlet entitled “War Bulletin” describing activities of all units of the University stated under Mathematics, “Women trained for statistical work are greatly needed by the government. Preparation for this work is given by Mathematics 20(General Mathematics) and Mathematics 356(Statistics). The military authorities have stressed the importance of good fundamental mathematical training for men entering the Service. In addition to the courses required of all men students, Mathematics 331(Spherical Trigonometry) is recommended.”

When Tomlinson Fort returned to the University in 1945, after 36 years away, he started the Ph.D. program in Mathematics, which became the first to be approved by the Board of Regents.

A brief summary of the pre-1945 history of the Ph.D. programs here follows. It would appear that the first announcement of general requirements was in the Bulletin in 1933-34. The requirements include admission to candidacy, appointment of an advisory committee and major professor, presentation and defense of a dissertation, and provision of 150 printed copies of this document (or a deposit of $50). This list of requirements does not appear in the Bulletins again for several years. In 1939-40 there is no statement that the Ph.D. is offered, but in 1940-41 there is a short statement that it is.

The first Ph.D. given by the University was to Horace Montgomery in 1940, in History. He was directed by Merton Coulter, the most distinguished scholar in the University at that time. Horace was a resident in Athens from 1929 to 1932 and obtained an A.M. at that time. He returned here following the war to serve as a professor in the History Department until his retirement.

In the Bulletin for 1945-46, the announcement of the Ph.D. program contains the footnote: “On account of the conditions imposed by the present emergency no student will be admitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education until the existing difficulties have been removed.”

In 1945 the mathematics curriculum changed dramatically. The number of courses offered beyond the calculus tripled in the next three years. Courses at the strict graduate level, which were numbered 800 and above, went from none in 1945-46 to three year long sequences in 1946-47. These were the Theory of Infinite Processes, Finite Differences, both taught by Tom Fort, and Functions of a Complex Variable, taught by David Barrow. In 1947-48 there are eight sequences listed, adding Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, Theory of Numbers, Modern Algebra, Algebraic Geometry and Mathematical Statistics to the list.

The increase in the number of courses was matched by increases in the number of mathematics faculty. In 1946-47 there were 7, in 1947-48 there were 10, and in 1948-49 there were 16. It was mentioned in the Annual Report that salary scales here were not competitive, and many of the new appointees with Ph.D. degrees accepted higher paying jobs after a short while.

The Ph.D. program initiated by Tomlinson Fort when he arrived in 1946 bore its first fruit in the graduations of 1951 and 1952 when 6 Ph.D’s were awarded. Five of these were directed by Fort and one by Gerald Huff. Tomlinson resigned in 1953 to take a position at the University of South Carolina. (Note that UGA had a mandatory retirement age at the time which was raised to 67 in 1952, and Fort was 67.) On reflection it seems to me that he felt that the Department had enough professors to keep the program productive, (Huff, Cohen, Dyer, M. K. Fort), and that freeing his position for the infusion of young active researchers was the best thing for the program. It should be remarked that of the 12 individuals appointed to the Mathematics Department from 1946 to 1953 who held Ph.D. degrees, 8 were gone in 1954. W. Vann Parker, with a Ph.D. from Brown, left to become head of the Mathematics Department at Auburn.

Reflecting a trend in the direction of mathematics in the United States, indeed in the world, the young appointees were topologists, or in areas in which topology played an important role. As a result, from 1954 to 1965, of the 19 Ph.D.’s awarded in Mathematics, 14 were in topology, or topological semi-groups. During this period much of the graduate instruction was conducted using what I called the Moore-Socrates method. This consisted in giving out a list of statements, which were either true or false, for which the students were expected to provide proofs or counter examples orally in class. This was the only classroom activity. R. L. Moore, a topologist who was a professor at the University of Texas, was celebrated for his success in producing active research mathematicians using this method. He personally taught classes using this method at all levels each year, starting with freshmen in the university. In the period from 1953 to 1960 there were two mathematical sons of R. L. Moore here (Dyer, Ball), and four mathematical grandsons, (M. K. Fort, Brahana, Curtis, Jewett). In studying the history of the University, it occurred to me that this was the method of teaching during the early days when recitation by students was the main activity in the classroom.

At the undergraduate level the curriculum evolved toward the goal that any undergraduate major should be able to enter a rigorous graduate program. Relatively few undergraduate mathematics majors want to do this. It was a widespread belief at this time, which I shared, that a solid theoretical preparation in mathematics was an excellent preparation for most practical activities, and that instruction centered on specific applications of mathematics were, for the most part, misdirected.

c. Research

From 1940 to 1945 the energy of the world was devoted to the war. There was much mathematical research: the development of the electronic computer, code breaking, linear programming for solving problems about the allotment of resources, and many other subjects. This research was classified at the time and did not appear in publication until later. Following the war there was an explosion of research of all kinds, including mathematics. Graphs depicting this phenomenon using two measures follow.


The number of papers reviewed in Mathematical Reviews

1940 1969

The number of Ph.D.'s awarded in Mathematics

1930 1950 1970

The data for the second graph was obtained from a 1968 census of mathematicians in the US, plotting the number whose degrees were given each year. Each graph contains a quadratic regression curve.

The research publication at the University of Georgia after WWII can be considered to start with Tomlinson Fort's book, Finite Differences and Difference Equations in the Real Domain, Clarendon Press, Oxford, in 1947. The same year, Gerald Huff published a paper, An arithmetic characterization of proper characteristics of linear systems, in the American Journal of Mathematics. The next year papers were published by David Barrow, W. Vann Parker, and Gerald Huff in the Duke Journal of Mathematics, on algorithms, matrix theory and algebraic geometry, respectively. Papers on the subjects of mathematical statistics and algebra were added in 1949 by A. C. Cohen and Robert Levit. There were 26 papers presented that year at the Southeastern Section of the American Mathematical Society held at Duke University, and 6 were by members of the Georgia department.

The activity described above was characteristic of the research conducted in the department until topologists came in 1953. They were Marion Kirkland "Kirk" Fort Jr. and Eldon Dyer, and in the next few years others were hired - myself, Morton Curtis, John Jewett, S. T. Hu, B. J. Ball,…, and while some left after a short while, there was always an active interacting group whose interests lay in topology. That year M. K. Fort published two papers, A characterization theorem for monotone open maps, (with E. E. Floyd), Proceedings of the AMS, and A cylindrical curve with maximum length and maximum height, Quarterly Journal of Mathematics. In 1955 there were 5 papers in topology, 3 by M. K. Fort and 2 by Eldon Dyer, including Certain transformations which lower dimension, Annals of Mathematics. The first National Science Foundation grant given to a member of the department was awarded to Fort that year. In 1956 there were 7 papers in topology, 4 by Fort, 2 by myself, and 1 by S. T. Hu. In addition, there were 3 papers published in mathematical statistics by A. C. Cohen. This level of publication continued for several years. An area of research new to the department appeared in publication in 1959. This was topological semi-group theory in the paper by Robert Hunter, On the semi-group structure of continua, Transactions of the AMS. He was joined by Lee Anderson and J. G. Horne, whose interests were in this area, and 30 papers came out of this group in the next 3 years. At this time Hunter and Anderson left to take positions at Pennsylvania State University. 

In 1961 there was a Topology Institute held here from August 14 until September 8. M. K. Fort was the administrator, and the 38 participants included influential research mathematicians from 22 universities. The publication resulting from the Institute, Topology of 3-Manifolds and Related Topics , M. K. Fort (ed.), Prentice Hall, can properly be described as influential in the later development of the subjects covered. In particular, A quick trip through knot theory, by R. H. Fox, is still considered the best crash course introduction to a subject which has since become very important in physics, chemistry and biology. After the death of M. K. Fort in August 1964, the joint topology grant from the NSF was taken over by C. H. Edwards and J. C. Cantrell. This grant has been continued under different directors until the present, and features yearly summer conferences.

Research publication in differential equations resumed in 1965 when Don Hinton and Gordon Johnson joined the faculty. At the end of the period covered in this section, during 1968 and 1969, of the 37 papers which were published by members of the department, 24 were in topology, 3 each in differential equations, logic and applied mathematics, and 1 each in analysis and mathematics education. In summary, the period from 1947 to 1969 saw the Mathematics Department join those in the group of universities producing research.


d. Individuals

More than 100 persons joined the Faculty of the Mathematics Department from 1940 to 1969, (see here). The biographies that follow are mainly of Department Heads, and a few others.

Gerald B. Huff, 1909- 2001

Gerald Huff came to the University in 1946 as an Associate Professor of Mathematics. He became a Professor in 1947, Head of the Department in 1952, Dean of the Graduate School in 1959. In 1968 he returned to the Department and served as Professor until he retired in 1976.

Gerald was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1909, and grew up and attended high school there, graduating in 1925. Then he entered Southern Methodist University, obtained a B. A. in 1929 and an M. A. in 1930. He taught physics at Southwestern University during 1930-31. In 1931 he went to the University of Illinois, and obtained a Ph. D. in Mathematics in 1935. His thesis director was A. B. Coble, who was President of the American Mathematics Society, 1933-34, and a well known algebraic geometer. Gerald Returned to SMU, where he was a member of the mathematics department until 1945. He was a Lecturer at the University of Texas, 1945-46, and came to the University of Georgia in 1946. In 1948-49 he was a Fellow at Harvard, on a grant from the Office of Naval Research. Gerald's mathematical research centered on the group of Cremona transformations on algebraic surfaces, and in particular on finite subgroups of this group which move rational points to rational points. He wrote five papers on this subject while at SMU, and one following his year at Harvard. In addition, he wrote five papers about the presentation of mathematics at the undergraduate level. As an administrator here he helped in the planning and obtaining financial support for the six buildings of the Science Center, which were completed from 1959-60. Dean George Boyd was the driving force behind this project. Gerald was the driving force in the development of the Graduate Studies Building, which was completed in 1968.

Tennis played an important part in Gerald's life. He won his first tournament in 1925, was No. 1 on the SMU team for two years, and was State Champion in Oklahoma and Kansas. He was the tennis coach at the University of Illinois, and spent one summer on the circuit. At the Senior level he was a State Champion in Georgia. He devises several ingeneous tennis tournament schedules using group theory and methods for implementing them on the courts. These were widely distributed in this country and abroad. The tennis playing members of the Mathematics Department used them for several years.Gerald's influence in the University from 1946 until 1968 was profound. During this critical time Georgia became a research oriented university.

A. C. Cohen, Jr., 1911-1999

Clifford Cohen became an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia in 1947, and Professor in 1952. He was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Statistics in 1958, and engineered the separation of the Department of Statistics from the Mathematics Department in 1964. 

Clifford was born in Stone County, Mississippi, in 1911. He attended high school in Norfield, Mississippi, graduating in 1928. Upon graduation he entered Auburn University and obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1932, and an MS in Mathematics in 1933. In 1934 he taught mathematics at Auburn, where, because of the depression, only half salaries were paid. Early in 1935 he was put on active duty as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserve, and was assigned to the Civilian Conservation Corps in Ecru, Mississippi. He remained in the CCC until 1939, rising to become Camp Commander at Thibodaux, Louisiana. He entered graduate school at the University of Michigan in June, 1939, and received his Ph. D. in June 1941.

Immediately following this he was placed on active duty as a Captain in the Ordinance Corps and sent to Picatiny Arsenal, New Jersey. He remained there for three years, when he was promoted and sent to the Pentagon as a statistical analyst. Following the cessation of hostilities he taught at the Biarritz American University in France, and left the army in March, 1947, as a Lieutenant Colonel. He taught at Michigan State University the spring quarter of 1947, then came to Georgia in June. Upon arrival at the University, with encouragement from Tomlinson Fort, he embarked on a research program. Much of his work concerned the theory of estimation using truncated or censored samples. He published 74 papers, including three books. A volume to honor Clifford, Recent Advances in Life-testing and Reliability, N. Balakrishnan, ed., CRC Press, 1995, grew out of the celebration for his 80th birthday, which was held at the University.

In summary, Clifford's greatest influence would seem to have been in the separation of Statistics from the Mathematics Department. Computer Science, as it began, was part of the Statistics Department. Statistics began its program at a high level, and has a fine reputation in the research community.

M. K. Fort, Jr., 1921-1964

Kirk Fort came to the University of Georgia in 1953 as an Associate Professor of Mathematics, and became a Professor in 1957. He was Head of the Department from 1959 to 1963, and became the first Barrow Professor in 1963. At the time of his death in 1964 he was on leave for the summer at the Institute for Defense Analysis in Princeton, New Jersey.

Kirk was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1921. He went to school there, and received an AB from Wofford College in 1941. He entered graduate school at the University of Virginia, receiving an MA in 1944. During 1944-45 he served in the Ballistics Research Laboratory in Aberdeen Maryland. He received a Ph. D. in Mathematics from Virginia in 1948. His thesis advisor was Gordon Whyburn, President of the American Mathematical Society, 1953-54. Kirk was a member of the Mathematics Department at the University of Illinois, 1948-53, at which time he came to Georgia.

His research interests centered on point set topology, and he answered many questions that had been raised in the literature. He published more than 40 papers, in which the arguments tended to be short, original and ingeneous. He was editor of the book, Topology of 3-Manifolds and Related Topics, Prentice Hall, 1962. His paper in this volume contains 7 questions, the answers to which, at the time, were unknown. Kirk was a visiting lecturer for the Mathematical Association of America, and Chairman of the Southeast Section of this group.

During the time he was at the University, Kirk's influence on the Mathematics Department was substantial, as an energetic and active research mathematician.

B. J. Ball, 1925-1996

Joe Ball came to the University of Georgia in 1959 as an Associate Professor of Mathematics. He became a Professor in 1963, and was Head from 1963 to 1969. He retired in 1985.

Joe was born in Crowell, Texas in 1925. He served in the Navy during WWII, returned and graduated from the University of Texas in 1947. He then joined the group of students under the direction of R. L. Moore, and received a Ph. D. in Mathematics in 1952. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia, 1952-59, at which time he came to Georgia.

Joe worked in point set topology, and was known for his ability to create spaces that were counter-examples to conjectures. He remained closely allied to the R. L. Moore school of topology and its methods of teaching. He directed 8 Ph. D. theses. More than forty individuals joined the Mathematics Faculty while he was head. During the time he was Head the research emphasis remained in topology, but new areas were being started, among them, differential equations and algebra.

J. G. Horne, Jr., 1926-1998

Grady Horne came to the University of Georgia in 1959 as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics. He became an Associate Professor in 1964, and Professor in 1966, and was head of the Department, 1969-74. He retired in 1989.

Grady was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1926. He was in the V12 program in the Navy, and became an Ensign at the end of the war. He received a B. Chem. From Tulane in 1946, and was in the occupation force in Japan. He received an M. S. in Mathematiccs from Tulane in 1950, and a Ph. D. in 1956. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky, 1956-59.

Grady's mathematical research was in the area of topological semi-groups, and their actions in the plane and on manifolds. He directed theses for 5 Ph. D.'s. During the time he was Head more than 40 individuals joined the Mathematics Faculty, including several who rose to distinction.

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