Person: Fine (2), Henry
Henry Fine was an American mathematician responsible for developing the mathematics department at Princeton.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Fine entered the College with the intention of studying classics and he began to study these subjects as well as Sanskrit.
- Halsted inspired Fine to turn towards mathematics.
- After receiving his A.B. in 1880, Fine was appointed a fellow in experimental science at Princeton but, never happy with experimental work, he happily changed to be a tutor in mathematics in 1881.
- Fine then, as was the custom of the day, decided to study in Germany.
- Fine spent the summer of 1885 in Berlin attending Kronecker's lectures on eliminants which made a strong impression on him.
- Despite great promise as a research mathematician, Fine moved into other areas.
- Fine published a few research papers (1887-1890), and another of some importance as late as 1916.
- Two further paper On the functions defined by differential equations with an extension of the Puiseux polygon construction to these equations, and Singular solutions of ordinary differential equations appeared in 1889 and 1890 respectively.
- Fine's most important contributions were to the American Mathematical Society and to Princeton University.
- It was in 1903, shortly after becoming president, that Wilson appointed Fine as Dean of the Faculty.
- Together Wilson and Fine worked to lift the standards at Princeton, both by improving the curriculum and in making strong faculty appointments.
- The end of Fine's life was tragic.
- Fine Hall, home of the Princeton Mathematical Department, is a memorial which keeps his name before mathematicians at one of the most important centres of mathematics in the United States, and the world.
Born 14 September 1858, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania , USA. Died 22 December 1928, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive