Harry B. Coonce – USA

Linked with the Mathematics Genealogy Project, and with Family Tree for Mathematic Scholars.

Retired Minnesota State University-Mankato mathematics professor Harry B. Coonce has proven once again that nature abhors a vacuum. Four years ago, he started a small project that has blossomed into a massive online effort to list all the world’s mathematicians. His reason for starting the Genealogy Project for Mathematicians? The information wasn’t available anywhere else … (full text).

A Labor of Love: the Mathemiatics Genealogy Project.

The Project in the UK: Notes.

the Project on wikipedia.


Sorry, I found no photo of Harry B. Coonce in the internet.

He has created the Mathematics Genealogy Project of thed NDSU North Dakota State University.

(To access their feature – as participant of the project – you have to login with your ACM Web Account and, if you fullfill their requirements*, click on ‘this link’ of the project).

* to full fill their requirements, Dr. Coonce requests that the following information be sent to him (by mail) for any Ph.D. mathematician not currently included in the list (or for whom there is an incomplete or inaccurate entry):

  • The complete name of the degree recipient;
  • The name of the university that awarded the doctorate;
  • The year in which the degree was awarded;
  • The complete title of the dissertation;
  • The complete name(s) of the advisor(s).

(full text).

Each of the searchable database’s records includes:

  • the mathematician’s name;
  • the mathematician’s dissertation title and advisor (”parent”);
  • doctorate-granting institution;
  • the names of the mathematician’s own graduate students (”descendants”).

(full text).

The brainchild of retired mathematics professor Harry B. Coonce, this site has the modest goal of listing information about everyone who has earned a doctorate in mathematics during the 20th century. This will allow mathematicians to trace their academic “family tree” and discover their advisor’s advisor, their advisor’s “siblings” at graduate school, and so on. With over 28,000 names from 380 universities and 30,000 records waiting to be organized, the database is off to a good start. Compiled from the respective universities or Dissertation Abstracts, the records include name of degree recipient, university, year in which degree was awarded, dissertation title, name of advisor (linked to a list of their other students), and a list of the degree recipient’s students, if any. Users can search the database by personal name (first, middle, or last), school, or year of degree, or browse by first letter of the last name, but due to the size of the database this last option is not recommended. (scout.wisc.edu).

The guide to computing literature.

Mathematicians learn from other mathematicians. In turn, those individuals learn from still other mathematicians. If you think about this for a bit, you can see that there is almost a genealogical connection here: each mathematician “begets” other mathematicians. OK, this isn’t biology. We only need one parent, not a male and female pair. Nonetheless, we can say that each mathematician has “math roots” … (full text).

ICM 2006, Short Communications, Abstracts, Section 20, History of Mathematics.

His publications: on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on zoom info; on Google Blog-search.


Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society;
The role of universities in modern society;

UD First: The Archives Staff is frequently asked to research first time occurrences at the University of Delaware … ;

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, page 1802;

LANL Research Library Newsletter, November 1999;

Recent Departmental Dissertations;

Concepts: The Way of the Intellect;

FOCUS, Volume 26 Issue 8;
The book: ‘U. S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association’ , page 18.

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