
AMS Presidents: A Timeline
AMS Presidents: A Timeline home page

17. Oswald Veblen (18801960)
President, 19231924
Ph.D. University of Chicago, Illinois, 1903
Veblen did important research in the fields of foundations of geometry, projective geometry, topology, differential invariants, and spinors. He came to Princeton University in 1905. The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) was founded in 1930, and when its School of Mathematics was established in 1932, Veblen was the first to be appointed as a professor. He was chiefly responsible for choosing the brilliant group of mathematicians who constituted the nucleus of the School: James Alexander, Albert Einstein, Marston Morse, John von Neumann, Hermann Weyl and Kurt Gödel. Threeyear Veblen Research Instructorships, named in his honor, offer postdocs a year of research at the institute sandwiched between two years of teaching at Princeton University. As AMS president, Veblen oversaw a successful endowment campaign of 192326, after which he was appointed to oversee the establishment of the Society's Colloquium Publications (of which the first volume was published in 1927). He also notably assisted the Society with obtaining grants, which supported the Colloquium Publications. In 1961 the AMS established the Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry in his honor. Veblen was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


For more information:

A Semicentennial History of the American Mathematical Society, 18881938 , by Raymond Clare Archibald (AMS, 1938), which contains CV, honors, bibliography, biographical notes and sources.

The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive

Mathematics Genealogy Project

"The Vision, Insight, and Influence of Oswald Veblen," by Steve Batterson (Notices of the AMS, May 2007, p. 606)

A Century of Mathematics in America, Part I, Edited by Peter Duren with the assistance of Richard A. Askey and Uta C. Merzbach (American Mathematical Society, 1988), "Oswald Veblen," by Deane Montgomery, p.118

A Century of Mathematics in America, Part II, Edited by Peter Duren with the assistance of Richard A. Askey and Uta C. Merzbach (American Mathematical Society, 1989), "The Emergence of Princeton as a World Center for Mathematical Research, 18961939," by William Aspray, p195

"Oswald Veblen, Norwegian American Mathematican," by J.J. O'Connor and E.F Robertson

Oswald Veblen, from A Princeton Companion, by Alexander Leitch

"A Mathematician on the Gunnery Crew: Oswald Veblen at Aberdeen," by David Alan Grier (George Washington University)

"Oswald Veblen," an obituary by Deane Montgomery, Bulletin of the AMS, 69, 2636 (1963), posted on the Princeton University website

"The IAS School of Mathematics," by Allyn Jackson, Notices of the AMS, September 2002, p.1896

AMS Presidents: A Timeline home page

