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David Raymond Curtiss, 1935-1936 MAA President

Born: January 12, 1878, Derby, Connecticut
Died: April 29, 1953, Redlands, California

David Raymond Curtiss was a mathematics professor known for his professional service to mathematical organizations.

Presidency: 1935-1936

At the 1936 annual meeting, Curtiss announced that former president Dunham Jackson would join the editorial committee for the Carus Mathematical Monographs, and he reappointed secretary (and later president) W.D. Cairns to represent the MAA on the Council of the American Association. Curtiss gave his retiring presidential address "Fashions in Mathematics" on September 7, 1937.

Education and Career

Curtiss studied at the University of California for his bachelor's degree (1899) and his master's degree (1901). He proceeded to complete his doctorate at Harvard under Maxime Bôcher and W.F. Osgood in 1903. On a fellowship, he studied at the École Normale Supérieure in 1903-04.

He taught at Yale for a year before moving to Northwestern University, where he was a professor for 38 years and head of the mathematics department for 20 of them.

Curtiss contributed extensive professional service to the MAA, the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was on the board of governors of the MAA in 1934 and 1937-1942 and was vice president of the AMS and the AAAS, with additional work on committees and as an editor of journals.

Curtiss wrote several textbooks on trigonometry and analytic geometry with Elton James Moulton and Analytic Functions of a Complex Variable, the second of the Carus Mathematical Monographs.

External Resources

American Mathematical Monthly obituary

Records of editors, presidents, and secretaries from MAA headquarters, David Raymond Curtiss, 1935-1953, includes letter from A.W. Tucker, who was Curtiss' son-in-law, April 30, 1953, at the Archives of American Mathematics

The Mathematics Genealogy Project

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