John Monroe Van Vleck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

John Monroe Van Vleck (March 4, 1833 – November 4, 1912) was an American mathematician and astronomer. He taught astronomy and mathematics at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for more than 50 years (1853-1912), and served as acting university president twice.[1][2] The Van Vleck Observatory (at Wesleyan University)[3] and the crater Van Vleck on the Moon are named after him.

John Monroe Van Vleck (1833–1912) shown 1875.

Early life[edit]

John Monroe Van Vleck was born on March 4, 1833, in Stone Ridge, New York; he was the son of Peter Van Vleck (1806-1872)[4] and Ann Hasbrouck (1803-1854).[5] His maternal grandparents were Joseph Hasbrouck (1754-1831) and Margaret Hoornbeck Hasbrouck (1768-1831).[4] He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1850, and began teaching at Greenwich Academy. The degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by Northwestern University in 1876.[2] From 1851-53 he had been an assistant at the Nautical Almanac Office.

Career[edit]

He taught astronomy and mathematics at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for more than 50 years, serving as adjunct professor of Mathematics 1853-57, professor of Mathematics and Astronomy 1858-1904,[2] and professor emeritus 1904-12.[1] He served as the acting president for the university on two occasions, 1872–73 and 1887–89, the vice president 1890-93.[1][2] In 1904 he was vice-president of the American Mathematical Society.[3]

He was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1869 he was a member of the Solar Eclipse Expedition to Mount Pleasant, Iowa.[2] He was a fellow of the A.A.A.S.[6] His publications include "Tables giving the Positions of the Moon for 1855-'6" and for 1878-91, and similar "Tables giving the Positions of Saturn for 1857 to 1877" contributed to the "American Nautical Almanac".[2]

Honors[edit]

The Van Vleck Observatory at Wesleyan University was named after him,[3] as was the crater Van Vleck on the Moon.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Ellen Maria Burr on May 2, 1854.[6] His wife died December 26, 1899, but he lived an additional 12 years. J. M. van Vleck was survived by a son and three daughters:[7][8]

Edward taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he became professor emeritus in 1926.[3]

  • Jane Van Vleck

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "THE SCIENCE FACULTY 1831-1861: Department of Astronomy", Wesleyan University, 2007-12-03, webpage: WU-Fac: states "Prof., 1885-1904" but should be "1858" not 1885.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "John Monroe Van Vleck", Virtualology (from Appletons Encyclopedia), 2001, webpage: www.famousamericans.net/johnmonroevanvleck/ - states "since 1858 has held chair of mathematics & astronomy".
  3. ^ a b c d Archibald, Raymond Clare (1938). American Mathematical Society Semicentennial Publications, Volume 1, A Semicentennial History of the American Mathematical Society, 1888-1938. American Mathematical Society. ISBN 082180118X. 
  4. ^ a b Lamerson, Donna. "Peter VanVleck". www.findagrave.com. Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  5. ^ John Monroe Van Vleck, Descendants of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven
  6. ^ a b Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson (1903). Who's who in America, Vols. 28-30. Marquis. 
  7. ^ Family Database, Die Maus
  8. ^ "Prof. John Monroe Van Vleck.". The New York Times. November 5, 1912. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  9. ^ O'Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. (August 2005). "Edward Burr Van Vleck". Retrieved 2006-08-10. 

References[edit]

  • "THE SCIENCE FACULTY 1831-1861: Department of Astronomy", Wesleyan University, 2007-12-03, webpage: WU-Fac: states "Prof., 1885-1904" but should be "1858" not 1885.
  • "John Monroe Van Vleck", Virtualology (from Appletons Encyclopedia), 2001, webpage: www.famousamericans.net/johnmonroevanvleck.