Julian Coolidge

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Julian Coolidge
Julian Lowell Coolidge (1873-1954).tif
Julian Coolidge
BornSeptember 28, 1873
DiedMarch 5, 1954 (1954-03-06) (aged 80)
Alma materHarvard University
Oxford University
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University
Doctoral advisorEduard Study
Doctoral studentsRoger Arthur Johnson
InfluencedFranklin D. Roosevelt

Julian Lowell Coolidge (September 28, 1873 – March 5, 1954) was an American mathematician, historian and a professor and chairman of the Harvard University Mathematics Department.[1]


Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, he graduated from Harvard University and Oxford University.[1]

Between 1897 and 1899 Julian Coolidge taught at the Groton School where one of his students was Franklin D. Roosevelt.[1] He left the private school to accept a teaching position at Harvard and in 1902 was given an assistant professorship, but took two years off to further his education with studies in Turin, Italy[1] before receiving his doctorate from the University of Bonn.[1][2] Julian Coolidge then returned to teach at Harvard where he remained for his entire academic career, interrupted only by a year at the Sorbonne in Paris as an exchange professor.[1]

During World War I, he served with the U.S. Army's Overseas Expeditionary Force in France, rising to the rank of major. At the end of the war, the government of France awarded him the Legion of Honor.[1]

Coolidge returned to teach at Harvard where he was awarded a full professorship. In 1927 he was appointed chairman of the Mathematics Department at Harvard,[1] a position he held until his retirement in 1940. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,[3] Coolidge served as president of the Mathematical Association of America and vice-president of the American Mathematical Society.[1][4] He authored several books on mathematics and on the history of mathematics. He was Master of Lowell House (one of Harvard's undergraduate residences) from 1930 to 1940.[5]

Coolidge died in 1954 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aged 80.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Julian Coolidge", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
  2. ^ Julian Coolidge at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "The Early History of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences", Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 24 (4): 3–23, 1971, doi:10.2307/3823172, JSTOR 3823172.
  4. ^ MAA presidents: Julian Lowell Coolidge
  5. ^ https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1954/3/6/first-lowell-housemaster-julian-coolidge-dies/
  6. ^ White, H. S. (1919). "Circle and Sphere Geometry". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 25 (10): 464–467. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1919-03230-3. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Snyder, Virgil (1941). "Review: J. L. Coolidge, A History of Geometrical Methods". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 47 (1): 20–22. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1941-07368-4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Blumenthal, Leonard M. (1947). "Review: J. L. Coolidge, A history of the conic sections and quadrics". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 53 (1, Part 1): 36. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1947-08730-9.

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