David Eugene Smith

David Eugene Smith (January 21, 1860 – July 29, 1944) was an American mathematician, educator, and editor.

David Eugene Smith
David Eugene Smith
BornJanuary 21, 1860
DiedJuly 29, 1944 (1944-07-30) (aged 84)
New York City, New York
CitizenshipUnited States
Scientific career

Education and career

David Eugene Smith is considered one of the founders of the field of mathematics education. Smith was born in Cortland, New York, to Abram P. Smith, attorney and surrogate judge, and Mary Elizabeth Bronson, who taught her young son Latin and Greek.[1] He attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1881 (Ph. D., 1887; LL.D., 1905). He studied to be a lawyer concentrating in arts and humanities, but accepted an instructorship in mathematics at the Cortland Normal School in 1884 [2] where he attended as a young man. While at the Cortland Normal School Smith became a member of the Young Men's Debating Club[3] (today the Delphic Fraternity.) He became a professor at the Michigan State Normal College in 1891 (later Eastern Michigan University), the principal at the State Normal School in Brockport, New York (1898), and a professor of mathematics at Teachers College, Columbia University (1901) where he remained until his retirement in 1926.

Smith became president of the Mathematical Association of America in 1920[2][4] and served as the president of the History of Science Society in 1927.[5] He also wrote a large number of publications of various types. He was editor of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society; contributed to other mathematical journals; published a series of textbooks; translated Felix Klein's Famous Problems of Geometry, Fink's History of Mathematics, and the Treviso Arithmetic. He edited[6] Augustus De Morgan's A Budget of Paradoxes (1915) and wrote many books on Mathematics which are listed below.



Selected articles

  • Smith, David Eugene (February 1921). "Among my autographs". The American Mathematical Monthly. 28 (2): 64–65. doi:10.2307/2973036. JSTOR 2973036.


  1. DONOGHUE, EILEEN F. (1998). "In Search of Mathematical Treasures: David Eugene Smith and George Arthur Plimpton". Historia Mathematica. 25 (4): 359–365. doi:10.1006/hmat.1998.2203.
  2. "David Eugene Smith, 1920 MAA President | Mathematical Association of America".
  3. An Honorable Record: Some of the alumni of the Young Men's Debating Club. Cortland Evening Standard, Friday, April 12, 1895.
  4. Smith, David Eugene (October 1921). "Religio Mathematici. Presidential address delivered before the Mathematical Association of America, September 7, 1921". The American Mathematical Monthly. 28 (10): 339–349. doi:10.2307/2972153. JSTOR 2972153.
  5. The History of Science Society "The Society: Past Presidents of the History of Science Society" Archived December 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, accessed 4 December 2013
  6. G. B. Mathews (1916) A Budget of Paradoxes From Nature 97:77 to 79 (#2421)
  7. Wooster Woodruff Beman: Faculty History Project Archived July 2, 2017, at the Wayback Machine (University of Michigan)
  8. Jackson, Lambert L. (1910). "'Review: Rara Arithmetica, by David Eugene Smith". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 16 (6): 312–314. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1910-01909-1.
  9. Emch, Arnold (1923). "Review of Elements of Projective Geometry by G. H. Ling, George Wentworth and D. E. Smith". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 29 (5): 233. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1923-03710-5.
  10. Archibald, R. C. (1935). "American Mathematics Before 1900". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 41 (9): 603–606. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1935-06148-8.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles McLean
Principal of the Brockport State Normal School
1898 – 1901
Succeeded by
Charles T. McFarlane
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