Kent, Deborah Anne (Author)

University of Virginia

Parshall, Karen V. H.

Publication date: 2005

Language: English

Publication Date: 2005

Edition Details: Advisor: Parshall, Karen V. H.

Physical Details: 368 pp.

Edition Details: Advisor: Parshall, Karen V. H.

Physical Details: 368 pp.

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In the early nineteenth-century, no real mathematical community existed in America. Mathematics was primarily limited to undergraduate study, colleges did not aspire to train scientists, and Europe was both geographically and intellectually distant from the United States. An American mathematical research community nonetheless emerged by the beginning of the twentieth century. This study investigates the work of Benjamin Peirce---as an educator, a mathematician, and a public figure---to promote research-level mathematics in mid-nineteenth-century America. We trace Peirce's efforts to renovate the collegiate mathematics curriculum at Harvard; scrutinize his failed attempt to found a mathematical research journal; analyze his part in defining American mathematical identity; consider his activities and legacy as a government functionary; and examine his public role as a scientific expert. Focusing on mid-century scientific structure- building through the lens of Peirce magnifies the challenges involved in developing and defining support for specialized science in educational establishments, professional organizations, government institutions, and popular venues.

...MoreDescription Cited in *Diss. Abstr. Int. A* 66/09 (2006): 3436. UMI pub. no. 3189297.

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