Person: Pierpont, James P
James Pierpont was an American mathematician who worked on the Galois theory of equations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- One of the early members, also named James Pierpont (1659-1714), was a graduate of Harvard University and a founder of The Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701 which shortly after was named Yale College.
- Of course one has to realise that the college education that Pierpont had received in no way prepared him for doctoral studies so he had to go through the full range of undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Europe.
- However, it was Kronecker's algebraic school that influenced Pierpont most and this influence could clearly be seen in Pierpont's work for many years.
- The last few years of Pierpont's European training were spent at the University of Vienna where he undertook research for his doctorate.
- Pierpont was awarded a doctorate in 1894 for his thesis Zur Geschichte der Gleichung fünften Grades bis zum Jahre 1858.
- After the award of his doctorate, Pierpont returned to the United States where he was appointed a Lecturer in Mathematics at Yale in 1894.
- Two series of lectures were given, one by Maxime Bôcher on Linear Differential Equations, and their Application and the other by Pierpont on Galois's Theory of Equations.
- Bôcher's lectures were not published, but those by Pierpont appeared in the Annals of Mathematics in 1900.
- In the autumn of 1896 Pierpont became an Assistant Professor at Yale, then in 1898 he was appointed as a full professor.
- The title of his Colloquium lectures is a good indication of Pierpont's main interests in the period up to his appointment to a full professorship.
- Pierpont's next textbook was Functions of a complex variable (1914).
- These books were based on courses Pierpont taught at Yale, so it is clear that he derived pleasure from lecturing.
- In addition to the American Mathematical Society Colloquium Lectures that he gave in Buffalo in 1896, Pierpont address the International Congress of Arts and Science in St Louis in September 1904 on the History of Mathematics in the Nineteenth Century, he addressed the American Mathematical Society summer meeting at Wellesley in 1921 on Some mathematical aspects of the theory of relativity, he gave the Gibbs Lecture in Kansas City in 1925 on Some modern views of space, he addressed the annual meeting at Nashville in 1927 on Mathematical rigor, past and present, he addressed the annual meeting at New York in 1928 On the motion of a rigid body in a space of constant curvature, and the annual meeting at Berkeley in 1929 on Non-Euclidean geometry, a retrospect.
- Finally let us record some of Pierpont's more amusing aspects.
Born 16 June 1866, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Died 9 December 1938, San Mateo, California, USA.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive