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David Eugene Smith (1860 – 1944) was an American mathematician, educator, and editor.
David Eugene Smith is considered one of the founders of the field of mathematics education. Smith was born in Cortland, New York, to Abram P. Smith, attorney and surrogate judge, and Mary Elizabeth Bronson, who taught her young son Latin and Greek.
He attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1881 (Ph. D., 1887; LL.D., 1905). He studied to be a lawyer concentrating in arts and humanities, but accepted an instructorship in mathematics at the Cortland Normal School in 1884 where he attended as a young man. While at the Cortland Normal School Smith became a member of the Young Men’s Debating Club (today the Delphic Fraternity.)
He became a professor at the Michigan State Normal College in 1891 (later Eastern Michigan University), the principal at the State Normal School in Brockport, New York (1898), and a professor of mathematics at Teachers College, Columbia University (1901) where he remained until his retirement in 1926.
Smith became president of the Mathematical Association of America in 1920 and served as the president of the History of Science Society in 1927. He also wrote a large number of publications of various types. He was editor of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society; contributed to other mathematical journals; published a series of textbooks; translated Felix Klein’s Famous Problems of Geometry, Fink’s History of Mathematics, and the Treviso Arithmetic. He edited Augustus De Morgan’s A Budget of Paradoxes (1915) and wrote many books on Mathematics.
History of Modern Mathematics
This little work was published as a chapter in Merriman and Woodward’s Higher Mathematics. It was written before the numerous surveys of the development of science in the past hundred years, which appeared at the close of the nineteenth century, and it therefore had more reason for being then than now, save as it can now call attention, to these later contributions. The conditions under which it was published limited it to such a small compass that it could do no more than present a list of the most prominent names in connection with a few important topics. Since it is necessary to use the same plates in this edition, simply adding a few new pages, the body of the work remains substantially as it first appeared. The book therefore makes no claim to being history, but stands simply as an outline of the prominent movements in mathematics, presenting a few of the leading names, and calling attention to some of the bibliography of the subject.More info →