Anna Baright Curry
Anna Baright Curry was a noted educator and the founder of Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. Anna Baright was born on June 1854, to a Quaker family in Poughkeepsie, New York. Most of her family members were art lovers. After graduating from Cook's Collegiate Institute in 1873, she worked as a teacher in New York state taught elocution at Milwaukee Female College. In 1875 she enrolled in Boston University's School of Oratory, where one of her teachers was Alexander Graham Bell. At B. U. she was described by one of her professors as "the greatest woman reader in the country." This was a significant compliment in an era of oratory when speakers such as Charles Dickens and Mark Twain were paid thousands to read lengthy pieces of their work. Baright graduated with honors in 1877. After graduation she was appointed First Assistant to Lewis Baxter Monroe, Dean of the School of Oratory. In 1879, she and Monroe were planning to open a summer school for oratory on Martha's Vineyard when Monroe died.
Rather than cancel, Baright ran the five-week program herself. It was the first summer school of its kind in the country; that fall, Samuel Silas Curry took over the leadership of the Boston University School of Oratory. Encouraged by Boston University's first president, William F. Warren, Baright started her own school in downtown Boston that fall; the School of Elocution and Expression offered a two-year program modeled after that of the B. U. oratory school. Baright based her teaching on Monroe's principle that "expression is the outward manifestation of that, in the consciousness." Professor J. W. Churchill called her "the greatest woman teacher of elocution in the country."In 1882, Baright married Samuel Silas Curry and became Anna Baright Curry. In 1885, the school was renamed the School of Expression, Samuel Silas Curry became the head of the school with Anna Baright Curry serving as Dean. Former Boston University School of Oratory professor and telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell became the school's first chancellor from 1907 until his death in 1922.
The Currys ran the school until their respective deaths in 1921 and 1924. Years the school was renamed Curry College in their honor. Baright and Curry married on May 31, 1882; the couple had six children. Baright Curry was a member of the New England Women's Club, the Cantabrigia Club, the Boston Browning Society, she died in Boston in 1924. Fryer, Paul. Women in the Arts in the Belle Epoque: Essays on Influential Artists and Performers. McFarland. ISBN 9781476601021. Howe, Julia Ward. Representative Women of New England. New England Historical Publishing Company. "History". Curry College. Pinney, Amy. Archiving Anna Baright Curry: Performances of Evidence and Evidentiary Performances. Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Leuven or Louvain is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. It is located about 25 kilometres east of Brussels; the municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the eighth largest city in Belgium and the fourth in Flanders with more than 100,244 inhabitants. Leuven is home to the KU Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence; the related university hospital of UZ Leuven is one of the largest hospitals in Europe. The city is known for being the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world; the earliest mention of Leuven dates from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia. According to a legend, the city's red and white arms depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dyle after this battle to Austria’s Flag.
Situated beside this river, near to the stronghold of the Dukes of Brabant, Leuven became the most important centre of trade in the duchy between the 11th and 14th centuries. A token of its former importance as a centre of cloth manufacture is shown in that ordinary linen cloth was known, in late-14th-century and 15th-century texts, as lewyn. In the 15th century, a new golden era began with the founding of what is now the largest and oldest university in the Low Countries, the Catholic University of Leuven, in 1425. In the 18th century, the brewery Den Horen flourished. In 1708, Sebastien Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, gave his name to the brewery in 1717, now part of AB InBev, whose flagship beer, Stella Artois, is brewed in Leuven and sold in many countries. Leuven occupied by foreign armies. In the 20th century, both world wars inflicted major damage upon the city. Upon Germany's entry into World War I, the town was damaged by rampaging soldiers. In all, about 300 civilians lost their lives.
The university library was destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, more than 1,000 incunabula. The destruction of the library shocked the world, with the Daily Chronicle describing it as war not only against civilians but against "posterity to the utmost generation." It was rebuilt after the war, much of the collection was replaced. Great Britain and the United States were major providers of material for the replenishment of the collection; the new library building was financed by the National Committee of the United States for the Restoration of the University of Louvain and built to the design of architect Whitney Warren. Richard Harding Davis, a war correspondent for the New York Tribune, was in Leuven and wrote a column titled "The Germans Were Like Men After an Orgy" in which he described the organized civilian murders and vandalism committed by the occupying troops.
In World War II, after the start of the German offensive, Leuven formed part of the British Expeditionary Force's front line and was defended by units of the 3rd Division and Belgian troops. From 14 to 16 May 1940, the German Army Group B assaulted the city with heavy air and artillery support; the British withdrew their forces to the River Senne on the night of 16 May and the town was occupied the next day. The new university library building was set on fire by shelling, on 16 May, nearly a million books were lost. Given the presence of the KU Leuven, Europe's most innovative university according to Reuters, much of the local economy is concentrated on spin-offs from academic research. In addition, the Leuven-based research centre, IMEC, is a world class research centre in the field of nano-electronics and digital technologies; as a result, dozens of companies in high technological fields such as biotech, additive manufacturing and IT, are located near these research institutes on the Arenberg Science Park and Haasrode Research-Park.
Quite a few international companies such as Siemens, Nitto Denko, JSR Corporation or Commscope have important research oriented branches, in Leuven. The academic hospital Gasthuisberg is another advanced research institute, it is one of Europe's most advanced hospitals. As a result, large numbers of private service providers are active in the medical and legal fields; because it is the capital of the region of Flemish Brabant, many governmental institutions are located in Leuven, as well as the regional headquarters of transport corporations such as De Lijn. As one of Flanders Art-Cities, with a large range of cafés, cultural institutions and shopping neighbourhoods, Leuven attracts a fair share of tourists. Leuven is the worldwide headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer company in the world and is considered one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods companies in the world. InBev's Stella Artois brewery and main offices dominate the entire north-eastern part of the town, between the railway station and the canal to Mechelen.
As of 1 November 2016, the population of Leuven was 100,244. The arrondissement of Leuven
George David Birkhoff
George David Birkhoff was an American mathematician best known for what is now called the ergodic theorem. Birkhoff was one of the most important leaders in American mathematics in his generation, during his time he was considered by many to be the preeminent American mathematician; the George D. Birkhoff House, his residence in Cambridge, has been designated a National Historic Landmark, he was born in Overisel Township, the son of David Birkhoff and Jane Gertrude Droppers. The mathematician Garrett Birkhoff was his son. Birkhoff obtained his A. B. and A. M. from Harvard University. He completed his Ph. D. in 1907, on differential equations, at the University of Chicago. While E. H. Moore was his supervisor, he was most influenced by the writings of Henri Poincaré. After teaching at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Princeton University, he taught at Harvard from 1912 until his death. In 1923, he was awarded the inaugural Bôcher Memorial Prize by the American Mathematical Society for his paper in 1917 containing, among other things, what is now called the Birkhoff curve shortening process.
He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Académie des Sciences in Paris, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the London and Edinburgh Mathematical Societies. The George David Birkhoff Prize in applied mathematics is awarded jointly by the American Mathematical Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in his honor. Vice-president of the American Mathematical Society, 1919. President of the American Mathematical Society, 1925–1926. Editor of Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, 1920–1924. In 1912, attempting to solve the four color problem, Birkhoff introduced the chromatic polynomial. Though this line of attack did not prove fruitful, the polynomial itself became an important object of study in algebraic graph theory. In 1913, he proved Poincaré's "Last Geometric Theorem," a special case of the three-body problem, a result that made him world-famous. In 1927, he published his Dynamical Systems.
He wrote on the foundations of relativity and quantum mechanics, publishing the monograph Relativity and Modern Physics in 1923. In 1923, Birkhoff proved that the Schwarzschild geometry is the unique spherically symmetric solution of the Einstein field equations. A consequence is that black holes are not a mathematical curiosity, but could result from any spherical star having sufficient mass. Birkhoff's most durable result has been his 1931 discovery of what is now called the ergodic theorem. Combining insights from physics on the ergodic hypothesis with measure theory, this theorem solved, at least in principle, a fundamental problem of statistical mechanics; the ergodic theorem has had repercussions for dynamics, probability theory, group theory, functional analysis. He worked on number theory, the Riemann–Hilbert problem, the four colour problem, he proposed an axiomatization of Euclidean geometry different from Hilbert's. In his years, Birkhoff published two curious works, his 1933 Aesthetic Measure proposed a mathematical theory of aesthetics.
While writing this book, he spent a year studying the art and poetry of various cultures around the world. His 1938 Electricity as a Fluid combined his ideas on science, his 1943 theory of gravitation is puzzling since Birkhoff knew that his theory allows as sources only matter, a perfect fluid in which the speed of sound must equal the speed of light. Albert Einstein and Norbert Wiener, among others, accused Birkhoff of advocating anti-Semitic hiring practices. During the 1930s, when many Jewish mathematicians fled Europe and tried to obtain jobs in the USA, Birkhoff is alleged to have influenced the hiring process at American institutions to exclude Jews. Birkhoff's anti-Semitic views and remarks are well-documented, but Saunders Mac Lane has argued that Birkhoff's efforts were motivated less by animus towards Jews than by a desire to find jobs for home-grown American mathematicians. However, Birkhoff took a particular liking to certain Jewish mathematicians, including Stanislaw Ulam. Gian-Carlo Rota writes: "Like other persons rumored to be anti-Semitic, he would feel the urge to shower his protective instincts on some good-looking young Jew.
Ulam's sparkling manners were diametrically opposite to Birkhoff's hard-working, touchy personality. Birkhoff tried to keep Ulam at Harvard, but his colleagues balked at the idea." Birkhoff, George David. "A determinant formula for the number of ways of coloring a map". Ann. Math. 14: 42–46. Doi:10.2307/1967597. Birkhoff, George David. "Proof of Poincaré's geometric theorem". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 14: 14–22. Doi:10.1090/s0002-9947-1913-1500933-9. Birkhoff, George David. "Dynamical Systems with Two Degrees of Freedom". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 18: 199–300. Doi:10.1090/s0002-9947-1917-1501070-3. PMC 1091243. Birkhoff, George David and Ralph Beatley. 1959. Basic Geometry, 3rd ed. Chelsea Publishing Co. Birkhoff factorization Birkhoff–Grothendieck theorem Birkhoff's theorem Birkhoff's axioms Birkhoff interpolation Equidistribution theorem Aubin, David, 2005, "Dynamical systems" in Grattan-Guinness, I. ed. Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics. Elsevier: 871–81. Mac Lane, Saunders. "Jobs in the 1930s and the views of George D. Birkhoff".
Math. Intelligencer. 16: 9–10. Doi:10.1007/bf03024350. Kip Thorne, 19nn. Black Holes and Time Warps. W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-31276-3. Vandiver
Alonzo Church was an American mathematician and logician who made major contributions to mathematical logic and the foundations of theoretical computer science. He is best known for the lambda calculus, Church–Turing thesis, proving the undecidability of the Entscheidungsproblem, Frege–Church ontology, the Church–Rosser theorem, he worked on philosophy of language. Alonzo Church was born on June 14, 1903, in Washington, D. C. where his father, Samuel Robbins Church, was the judge of the Municipal Court for the District of Columbia. The family moved to Virginia after his father lost this position because of failing eyesight. With help from his uncle named Alonzo Church, the son attended the private Ridgefield School for Boys in Ridgefield, Connecticut. After graduating from Ridgefield in 1920, Church attended Princeton University, where he was an exceptional student, he published his first paper on Lorentz transformations and graduated in 1924 with a degree in mathematics. He stayed at Princeton for graduate work, earning a Ph.
D. in mathematics in three years under Oswald Veblen. He married Mary Julia Kuczinski in 1925; the couple had three children, Alonzo Church, Jr. Mary Ann and Mildred. After receiving his Ph. D. he taught as an instructor at the University of Chicago. He received a two-year National Research Fellowship that enabled him to attend Harvard University in 1927–1928, the University of Göttingen and University of Amsterdam the following year, he taught philosophy and mathematics at Princeton for nearly four decades, 1929–1967. He taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, 1967–1990, he was a Plenary Speaker at the ICM in 1962 in Stockholm. He received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Case Western Reserve University in 1969, Princeton University in 1985, the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York in 1990 in connection with an international symposium in his honor organized by John Corcoran. A religious person, Church was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian church, he was buried in Princeton Cemetery.
Church is known for the following significant accomplishments: His proof that the Entscheidungsproblem, which asks for a decision procedure to determine the truth of arbitrary propositions in a first-order mathematical theory, is undecidable. This is known as Church's theorem, his proof that Peano arithmetic is undecidable. His articulation of what has come to be known as the Church–Turing thesis, he was the founding editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic, editing its reviews section until 1979. His creation of the lambda calculus; the lambda calculus emerged in his 1936 paper showing the unsolvability of the Entscheidungsproblem. This result preceded Alan Turing's work on the halting problem, which demonstrated the existence of a problem unsolvable by mechanical means. Church and Turing showed that the lambda calculus and the Turing machine used in Turing's halting problem were equivalent in capabilities, subsequently demonstrated a variety of alternative "mechanical processes for computation."
This resulted in the Church–Turing thesis. The efforts for automatically generating a controller implementation from specifications originates from his ideas; the lambda calculus influenced the design of the LISP programming language and functional programming languages in general. The Church encoding is named in his honor. In his honor the Alonzo Church Award for Outstanding Contributions to Logic and Computation was established in 2015 by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Logic and Computation, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, the European Association for Computer Science Logic, the Kurt Gödel Society; the award is for an outstanding contribution to the field published within the past 25 years and must not yet have received recognition via another major award, such as the Turing Award, the Paris Kanellakis Award, or the Gödel Prize. Church’s elaboration of a methodology involving the logistic method, his philosophical criticisms of nominalism and his defense of realism, his argumentation leading to conclusions about the theory of meaning, the detailed construction of the Fregean and Russellian intensional logics, are more than sufficient to place him high up among the most important philosophers of this century.
Many of Church's doctoral students have led distinguished careers, including C. Anthony Anderson, Peter B. Andrews, George A. Barnard, David Berlinski, William W. Boone, Martin Davis, Alfred L. Foster, Leon Henkin, John G. Kemeny, Stephen C. Kleene, Simon B. Kochen, Maurice L'Abbé, Isaac Malitz, Gary R. Mar, Michael O. Rabin, Nicholas Rescher, Hartley Rogers, Jr. J. Barkley Rosser, Dana Scott, Raymond Smullyan, Alan Turing. A more complete list of Church's students is available via Mathematics Genealogy Project. Alonzo Church, Introduction to Mathematical Logic Alonzo Church, The Calculi of Lambda-Conversion Alonzo Church, A Bibliography of Symbolic Logic, 1666–1935 C. Anthony Anderson and Michael Zelëny, Logic and Computation: Essays in Memory of Alonzo Church Church–Turing–Deutsch principle Higher-order logic List of pioneers in computer science Modern Platonism Universal set Enderton, Herbert B. Alonzo Church: Life and Work. Introduction to the Collected Works of Alonzo Church, MIT Press, not yet published.
Enderton, Herbert B. In memoriam: Alonzo Church, The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 486–488. Wade, Alonzo Church, 92, Theorist of the Limits of Mathematics, The New York Times, September 5, 1995, p. B6. Hodges, Wilf
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, education, biology and psychology, among other areas. In his early career Whitehead wrote on mathematics and physics, his most notable work in these fields is the three-volume Principia Mathematica, which he wrote with former student Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica is considered one of the twentieth century's most important works in mathematical logic, placed 23rd in a list of the top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century by Modern Library. Beginning in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Whitehead turned his attention from mathematics to philosophy of science, to metaphysics, he developed a comprehensive metaphysical system which radically departed from most of western philosophy. Whitehead argued that reality consists of processes rather than material objects, that processes are best defined by their relations with other processes, thus rejecting the theory that reality is fundamentally constructed by bits of matter that exist independently of one another.
Today Whitehead's philosophical works – Process and Reality – are regarded as the foundational texts of process philosophy. Whitehead's process philosophy argues that "there is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have consequences for the world around us." For this reason, one of the most promising applications of Whitehead's thought in recent years has been in the area of ecological civilization and environmental ethics pioneered by John B. Cobb Jr. Alfred North Whitehead was born in Ramsgate, England, in 1861, his father, Alfred Whitehead, was a minister and schoolmaster of Chatham House Academy, a school for boys established by Thomas Whitehead, Alfred North's grandfather. Whitehead himself recalled both of them as being successful schools, but that his grandfather was the more extraordinary man. Whitehead's mother was Maria Sarah Whitehead Maria Sarah Buckmaster. Whitehead was not close with his mother, as he never mentioned her in any of his writings, there is evidence that Whitehead's wife, had a low opinion of her.
Whitehead was educated at Sherborne School, one of the best public schools in the country. His childhood was described as over-protected, but when at school he excelled in sports and mathematics and was head prefect of his class. In 1880, Whitehead began attending Trinity College and studied mathematics, his academic advisor was Edward John Routh. He earned his BA from Trinity in 1884, graduated as fourth wrangler. Elected a fellow of Trinity in 1884, Whitehead would teach and write on mathematics and physics at the college until 1910, spending the 1890s writing his Treatise on Universal Algebra, the 1900s collaborating with his former pupil, Bertrand Russell, on the first edition of Principia Mathematica, he was a Cambridge Apostle. In 1890, Whitehead married an Irish woman raised in France. Eric Whitehead died in action at the age of 19, while serving in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. Alfred's brother Henry became Bishop of Madras, wrote a observed ethnographic account of the Village Gods of South-India, still of value today.
In 1910, Whitehead resigned his senior lectureship in mathematics at Trinity and moved to London without first lining up another job. After being unemployed for a year, Whitehead accepted a position as lecturer in applied mathematics and mechanics at University College London, but was passed over a year for the Goldsmid Chair of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, a position for which he had hoped to be considered. In 1914 Whitehead accepted a position as professor of applied mathematics at the newly chartered Imperial College London, where his old friend Andrew Forsyth had been appointed chief professor of mathematics. In 1918 Whitehead's academic responsibilities began to expand as he accepted a number of high administrative positions within the University of London system, of which Imperial College London was a member at the time, he was elected dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of London in late 1918, a member of the University of London's Senate in 1919, chairman of the Senate's Academic Council in 1920, a post which he held until he departed for America in 1924.
Whitehead was able to exert his newfound influence to lobby for a new history of science department, help establish a Bachelor of Science degree, make the school more accessible to less wealthy students. Toward the end of his time in England, Whitehead turned his attention to philosophy. Though he had no advanced training in philosophy, his philosophical work soon became regarded. After publishing The Concept of Nature in 1920, he served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923. In 1924, Henry Osborn Taylor invited the 63-year-old Whitehead to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy. During his time at Harvard, Whitehead produced his most important philosophical contributions. In 1925, he wrote Science and the Modern World, hailed as an alternative to the Cartesian dualism that plagued popular scien
The Principia Mathematica is a three-volume work on the foundations of mathematics written by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell and published in 1910, 1912, 1913. In 1925–27, it appeared in a second edition with an important Introduction to the Second Edition, an Appendix A that replaced ✸9 and all-new Appendix B and Appendix C. PM is not to be confused with Russell's 1903 The Principles of Mathematics. PM was conceived as a sequel volume to Russell's 1903 Principles, but as PM states, this became an unworkable suggestion for practical and philosophical reasons: "The present work was intended by us to be comprised in a second volume of Principles of Mathematics... But as we advanced, it became evident that the subject is a much larger one than we had supposed. PM, according to its introduction, had three aims: to analyze to the greatest possible extent the ideas and methods of mathematical logic and to minimize the number of primitive notions and axioms, inference rules; this third aim motivated the adoption of the theory of types in PM.
The theory of types adopts grammatical restrictions on formulas that rules out the unrestricted comprehension of classes and functions. The effect of this is that formulas such as would allow the comprehension of objects like the Russell set turn out to be ill-formed: they violate the grammatical restrictions of the system of PM. There is no doubt that PM is of great importance in the history of mathematics and philosophy: as Irvine has noted, it sparked interest in symbolic logic and advanced the subject by popularizing it. Indeed, PM was in part brought about by an interest in Logicism, the view on which all mathematical truths are logical truths, it was in part thanks to the advances made in PM that, despite its defects, numerous advances in meta-logic were made, including Gödel's incompleteness theorems. For all that, PM is not used today: the foremost reason for this is its reputation for typographical complexity. Somewhat infamously, several hundred pages of PM precede the proof of the validity of the proposition 1+1=2.
Contemporary mathematicians tend to use a modernized form of the system of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. Nonetheless, the scholarly and philosophical interest in PM is great and ongoing: for example, the Modern Library placed it 23rd in a list of the top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century; the Principia covered only set theory, cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers, real numbers. Deeper theorems from real analysis were not included, but by the end of the third volume it was clear to experts that a large amount of known mathematics could in principle be developed in the adopted formalism, it was clear how lengthy such a development would be. A fourth volume on the foundations of geometry had been planned, but the authors admitted to intellectual exhaustion upon completion of the third; as noted in the criticism of the theory by Kurt Gödel, unlike a formalist theory, the "logicistic" theory of PM has no "precise statement of the syntax of the formalism". Another observation is that immediately in the theory, interpretations are presented in terms of truth-values for the behaviour of the symbols "⊢", "~", "V".
Truth-values: PM embeds the notions of "truth" and "falsity" in the notion "primitive proposition". A raw formalist theory would not provide the meaning of the symbols that form a "primitive proposition"—the symbols themselves could be arbitrary and unfamiliar; the theory would specify only. By assignment of "values", a model would specify an interpretation of what the formulas are saying, thus in the formal Kleene symbol set below, the "interpretation" of what the symbols mean, by implication how they end up being used, is given in parentheses, e.g. "¬". But this is not a pure Formalist theory; the following formalist theory is offered as contrast to the logicistic theory of PM. A contemporary formal system would be constructed as follows: Symbols used: This set is the starting set, other symbols can appear but only by definition from these beginning symbols. A starting set might be the following set derived from Kleene 1952: logical symbols: "→", "&", "V", "¬", "∀", "∃". Symbol strings: The theory will build "strings" of these symbols by concatenation.
Formation rules: The theory specifies the rules of syntax as a recursive definition that starts with "0" and specifies how to build acceptable strings or "well-formed formulas". This includes a rule for "substitution" of strings for the symbols called "variables". Transformation rule: The axioms that specify the behaviours of the symbols and
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, its history and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities; the Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, its curriculum and student body were secularized during the 18th century, by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites. Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot's long tenure transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university. A. Lawrence Lowell, who followed Eliot, further reformed the undergraduate curriculum and undertook aggressive expansion of Harvard's land holdings and physical plant.
James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war. The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College; the university is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge 3 miles northwest of Boston. Harvard's endowment is worth $39.2 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Harvard is a large residential research university; the nominal cost of attendance is high, but the university's large endowment allows it to offer generous financial aid packages. The Harvard Library is the world's largest academic and private library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding over 18 million items; the University is cited as one of the world's top tertiary institutions by various organizations.
Harvard's alumni include eight U. S. presidents, more than thirty foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, 242 Marshall Scholars. As of October 2018, 158 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists, 14 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or researchers. In addition, Harvard students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes and 108 Olympic medals, have founded a large number of companies worldwide. Harvard was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America's first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, who had left the school £779 and his scholar's library of some 400 volumes; the charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650. A 1643 publication gave the school's purpose as "to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust".
It offered a classic curriculum on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. It was never affiliated with any particular denomination, but many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches; the leading Boston divine Increase Mather served as president from 1685 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president, not a clergyman, marking a turning of the college from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence. Throughout the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas of the power of reason and free will became widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties; when the Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and the president of Harvard Joseph Willard died a year in 1804, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the chair in 1805, the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency of Harvard two years which signaled the changing of the tide from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.
In 1846, the natural history lectures of Louis Agassiz were acclaimed both in New York and on the campus at Harvard College. Agassiz's approach was distinctly idealist and posited Americans' "participation in the Divine Nature" and the possibility of understanding "intellectual existences". Agassiz's perspective on science combined observation with intuition and the assumption that a person can grasp the "divine plan" in all phenomena; when it came to explaining life-forms, Agassiz resorted to matters of shape based on a presumed archetype for his evidence. This dual view of knowledge was in concert with the teachings of Common Sense Realism derived from Scottish philosophers Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart, whose works were part of the Harvard curriculum at the time; the popularity of Agassiz's efforts to "soar with Plato" also derived from other writings to which Harvard students