Person: Slaught, Herbert Ellsworth
Herbert Ellsworth Slaught was an American mathematician who became president of the Mathematical Association of America.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The name Ellsworth was chosen by his parents to honour Colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth who had been killed in the civil war on 24 May 1861.
- Slaught himself has said that he would probably have spent his life working on the farm if it had not happened, and the farm was apparently not a very good one.
- Slaught attended Colgate Academy in Hamilton until he graduated in 1879.
- Slaught was quickly promoted at the Peddie Institute, first to assistant principal in 1886, then to principal in 1889.
- So in 1892 Slaught accepted a two-year appointment to one of the first three fellowships awarded by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Chicago, which was just then opening its doors.
- Chicago had not been Slaught's first choice, for he had planned to undertake research for his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University and had applied for a fellowship.
- Slaught soon received promotion at the University of Chicago.
- Slaught remained at Chicago for the rest of his career, retiring from his chair in 1931.
- Many students who had studied calculus before, learned what the subject really meant in Professor Slaught's class.
- During 1902-3 Slaught travelled in Europe attending lectures by the leading mathematicians.
- The proposition took a more definite shape, under Slaught's impetus, at the April 1914 meeting of the Chicago Section of the Society.
- Slaught also became active in the organisation of the Mathematical Association of America and served as its President in 1919.
- Slaught was chairman of the local organising committee.
- Slaught acted as toastmaster at a joint dinner for all three societies.
- We can see from Slaught's work for many societies and associations which were interested in secondary school teaching that he had a strong interest in that area.
- Professor Slaught's manner was entirely unpretentious and free from the slightest affectation.
Born 21 July 1861, Watkins, New York, USA. Died 21 May 1937, Chicago, Illinois, 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