John Howard Van Amringe

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John Howard Van Amringe
John Howard Van Amringe.jpg
Scientific career

John Howard Van Amringe (1836–1915) was an educator and mathematician from the United States.

Life and career[edit]

Eastman Johnson's portrait of John Howard Van Amringe, 1900

Van Amringe was born in Philadelphia, and graduated from Columbia University in 1860. Thereafter, he taught mathematics at Columbia, holding a professorship from 1865 to 1910 when he retired. He served as the first president of the American Mathematical Society between 1888 and 1890.

The Van Amringe Memorial (1918) on the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University

Van Amringe was also the first Dean of Columbia College, the university's undergraduate school of arts and sciences, which he defended from dismemberment and incorporation into the larger university. During his long presence at the school, he made many addresses and enjoyed unrivaled popularity. He is memorialized with a bust enshrined in a column-supported cupola on "Van Am Quad" in the southeastern portion of the campus, surrounded by three Columbia College dormitories (John Jay Hall, Hartley Hall, and Wallach Hall) and by the main College academic building, Hamilton Hall. The Memorial was built in 1917-18 and was dedicated on Commencement Day in 1918.[1]

In honor of Van Amringe, Columbia University's Department of Mathematics has presented a "Van Amringe Mathematical Prize" each year (since 1911) to the best freshman or sophomore mathematics student, based on a very challenging examination.


  1. ^ Columbia Alumni News (July 1918)

External links[edit]

  • O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "John Howard Van Amringe", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
Preceded by
Seth Low (as President)
Dean of Columbia College
1896 – 1910
Succeeded by
Frederick P. Keppel