Norman H. Anning

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Norman Herbert Anning
Born (1883-08-28)August 28, 1883
Died May 1, 1963(1963-05-01) (aged 79)

Norman Herbert Anning ((1883-08-28)August 28, 1883 – (1963-05-01)May 1, 1963) was a mathematician, assistant professor, professor emeritus, and instructor in mathematics, recognized and acclaimed in mathematics for publishing a proof of the characterization of the infinite sets of points in the plane with mutually integer distances, known as the Erdős–Anning theorem.


Anning was originally from Holland Township (currently Chatsworth), Grey County, Ontario, Canada. In 1902, he won a scholarship to Queen's University,[1] and received the Arts bachelor's degree in 1905, and the Arts master's degree in 1906 from the same institution.[1]

Academic career[edit]

Anning served in the faculty of the University of Michigan since 1920, until he retired on 1953.[1][2]

From 1909 to 1910, he held a teaching position in the department of Mathematics and Science at Chilliwack High School, British Columbia. He was a member of the Mathematical Association of America [1] to which he contributed for many years.[3][4]

Besides being a member of the Mathematical Association of America,[1] Anning was appointed as chairperson at the University of Michigan from 1951 to 1952,[5] and treasurer secretary from 1925 to 1926 at the same institution.[5]

The name of Norman Anning must certainly be familiar to every contributor to this department. He has been solving problems for this department for more years than its present editor has known of School Science and Mathematics.
Charles H. Smith, editor of School Science and Mathematics

With Paul Erdős, he published a paper in 1945 containing what is now known as the Erdős–Anning theorem. The theorem states that an infinite number of points in the plane can have mutual integer distances only if all the points lie on a straight line.[6]

Anning retired on August 28, 1953. He died in Sunnydale, California on May 1, 1963.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Copeland, Arthur Herbert; Hay, George E. "University of Michigan Faculty History Project". 
  2. ^ "Norman Herbert Anning – University of Michigan Faculty History Project". Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Anning, Norman H. Charles H. Smith; Charles M. Turton, eds. "School Science and Mathematics". Smith & Turton. 
  4. ^ Anning, Norman H. Bennet, Albert Arnold, ed. "The American mathematical monthly: the official journal of the Mathematical Association of America". 29. Lancaster, P.A., and Providence, R.I.: 37. 
  5. ^ a b Yousef Alavi (2005). "Mathematical Association of America – Michigan Section". Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Anning, Norman H.; Erdos, Paul (1945). "Integral distances" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society: 598–00. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1945-08407-9. 
OCLC 4654125192, 4654053618
OCLC 35063082, 168376064, 4654078791