The History of Mathematics at the
University of Georgia:
Author, Tom Brahana
Teaching, Research and Service
- Members of the Faculty of UGA Mathematics Department
2 - Ph.D's in Mathematics Degrees Awarded at UGA, 1951-2008
Appendix 4 - 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
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 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.
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
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 oclock 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,
were much the same at the time, although
divergences in the general approach to higher education were soon
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 Pikes 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.
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 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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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 McCayss 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 Boucharlets
Calculus listed the preceding years. An equally detailed description
of McCayss course on Civil Engineering is given.
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 1750s. 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 1830s. (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.
Camak House, December 1, 2001
James 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
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 Georgias 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 states best farm
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.)
Camaks son Thomas was an officer in the Confederate Army,
and was killed during Picketts charge during the Battle of
Moses Waddel, 1770-1840
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
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 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
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
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 boys 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
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
Others who taught mathematics, 1821-59
William Leroy Brown, Professor, 1854-59
Nahum H. Wood, Assistant Professor, 1847-1851
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
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
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 Freedmens 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
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 1850s, 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 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
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 1870s 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Charles Melton Snelling, 1862-1939
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 thee food came from the University
farms and dairy. The charge was $8 a month for board, and refunds
were made at thee 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
a. The Historical Background
The Spanish-American War, 1898, signaled the emergence of thee
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
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 1930s 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
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 1920s, 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
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 1930s 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.
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 1906 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 Barrows 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
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 t0 1943.
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 Pentastroid", and appeared in the
American Journal of Mathematics, 1908. 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 fathers 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
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 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 in Covington, Ga., in 1886, and 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
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.
Ms. Callaway 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
The Bulletins indicate that she taught pre-calculus classes during
her tenure at the University.
Others who taught mathematics, 1901-1939
Robert S. Pond, 1910-20
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
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 v12, etc.
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 Talmadges 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 womens
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
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
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
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, removed the
condition that one must certify that one's parents had not been
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 1950s 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 1940s.
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 thee University in the 1950s 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 Appendix 3.
The involvement of the United States in the Vietnam conflict began
in 1954 whe 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, bot
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 Maos 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 becam Communist, then the adjacent
countries would soon follow. Attempts to begin peac 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-ins 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 abou 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 1920s.
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-eds
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 Appendix 4.
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 Nixons 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. 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 1920s.
The effect of the war can be observedclass 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
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.Ds 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. 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
(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.
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
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, 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 M. K. Fort 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 th 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, 1963, 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 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, 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.
More than 100 persons joined the Faculty of the Mathematics Department
from 1940 to 1969, (see Appendix 1). 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
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 thee 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,
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
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
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