Ground of the revolutionary change in early 20C American Mathematics

20세기 초 미국수학계의 혁명적변화의 바탕

  • Lee, Sang-Gu (Department of Mathematics, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Hwang, Suk-Geun (Department of Mathematics Edu. Kyongpook Nat. University) ;
  • Cheon, Gi-Sang (Department of Mathematics, Sungkyunkwan University)
  • Published : 2007.08.31


From 1876 to 1883, British mathematician James Joseph Sylvester worked as the founding head of Mathematics Department at the Johns Hopkins University which has been known as America's first school of mathematical research. Sylvester established the American Journal of Mathematics, the first sustained mathematics research journal in the United States. It is natural that we think this is the most exciting and important period in American mathematics. But we found out that the International Congress of Mathematicians held at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, August 21-26, 1893 was the real turning point in American's dedication to mathematical research. The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and John D. Rockefeller. The founding head of mathematics department Eliakim Hastings Moore was the one who produced many excellent American mathematics Ph.D's in early stage. Many of Moore's students contributed to build up real American mathematics research power in early 20 century The University also has a well-deserved reputation as the "teacher of teachers". Beginning with Sylvester, we analyze what E.H. Moore had done as a teacher and a head of the new department that produced many mathematical talents such as L.E. Dickson(1896), H. Slaught(1898), O. Veblen(1903), R.L. Moore(1905), G.D. Birkhoff(1907), T.H. Hilderbrants(1910), E.W. Chittenden(1912) who made the history of American mathematics. In this article, we study how Moore's vision, new system and new way of teaching influenced American mathematical society at early stage of the top class mathematical research. and the meaning that early University of Chicago case gave.

미국수학사에서 가장 중요한 시기로 여겨지는 1890년에서 1950년 사이의 미국수학계의 발전과정을 당시의 미국수학 연구에 있어서 혁신적 발전의 계기를 제공한 시카고 대학의 초대 수학과장 E.H. Moore 의 역할을 중심으로 고찰한다. 19세기말 아직 낙후되었던 미국 수학계는 시카고 대학의 핵심 학과였던 수학과는 총장의 비전을 같이 할 우수교수를 확보하고, 새로운 제도 하에서 선발된 우수 대학원 학생들을 탐구지향 교수법으로 지도하며 미국 수학연구의 초장기에 우수한 인재를 공급하기 시작한다. 이를 통하여 미국은 인재양성과 새로운 연구 분야 및 연구방법의 개척에 성공하고, 1950년 국제수학자대회(ICM)를 미국에서 개최하며, 당당히 세계수학의 주류에 진입한다. 본 원고는 위의 발전과정이 현재 한국에 주는 의미를 분석한다.