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John Howard Van Amringe (J. Howard Van Amringe) (1836–1915) was a U.S. educator and mathematician. He was born in Philadelphia, and graduated from Columbia in 1860. Thereafter, he taught mathematics at Columbia, holding a professorship from 1865 to 1910 when he retired. Van Amringe was also the first Dean of Columbia College, the university's undergraduate school of arts and sciences, which he defended from dismemberment and incorporation into the larger university. During his long presence at the school, he made many addresses and enjoyed unrivaled popularity. He is memorialized with a bust enshrined in a column-supported cupola on "Van Am Quad" in the southeastern portion of the campus, surrounded by three College dormitories (John Jay Hall, Hartley Hall, and Wallach Hall) and by the main College academic building, Hamilton Hall. He is buried in Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Van Amringe served as the first president of the American Mathematical Society between 1888 and 1890.

In honor of Van Amringe, Columbia University's Department of Mathematics has presented a "Van Amringe Mathematical Prize" each year (since 1911) to the best freshman or sophomore mathematics student, based on a very challenging examination.


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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