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Raymond Woodard Brink, 1941-1942 MAA President

Born: January 4, 1890, Newark, New Jersey
Died: December 27, 1973, La Jolla, California

Raymond Woodard Brink was a mathematics professor at the University of Minnesota and a textbook author.

Presidency: 1941-1942

Brink was vice president of the MAA when he was elected president in 1940. He appointed a committee on the Slaught Memorial Papers including R.E. Langer.

The 27th annual meeting, scheduled for December 30-31, 1942, in New York, New York was cancelled due to transportation difficulties during World War II.

In November 1943, Brink gave his retiring presidential address on "College Mathematics During Reconstruction." Thirty years later, J.M.H. Olmsted reflected that the address had shown "astonishing accuracy of foresight."

Education and Career

1908 Kansas State University, B.S.
1909 Kansas State University, B.S.E.E.
1916 Harvard University, Ph.D., advised by G.D. Birkhoff

Brink joined the University of Minnesota mathematics faculty in 1917, chaired the department from 1928 to 1932 and from 1939 to until he retired in 1957. He spent 1916-17, 1924-25, and 1932-33 studying at the Sorbonne. He was a visiting professor at the University of Miami in 1958-59.

Brink is known for his successful textbooks: College Algebra (1933), Analytic Geometry (1935), and Plane and Spherical Trigonometry (1942).

Brink was on the MAA board of trustees (1934-40) and assisted in the publication of the American Mathematical Monthly by reviewing books and refereeing papers for it. He was also active in the American Mathematical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

External Resources

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive biography

American Mathematical Monthly obituary (also available here)

Records of editors, presidents, and secretaries from MAA headquarters, R.W. Brink, President, 1935-1949 at the Archives of American Mathematics

The Mathematics Genealogy Project

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