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Ayres, Leonard Porter (15 September 1879–29 October 1946), educator, statistician, and economist, was born in Niantic, Connecticut, the son of Milan Church Ayres and Georgiana Gall. His father, a clergyman, author, and journalist, was editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser. The family moved to Newton Highlands, Massachusetts, where Leonard received his early education in public schools. An avid bicycle racer, he participated in national matches as a young man. After receiving his Ph.B. degree from Boston University in 1902, he taught school in Puerto Rico, rising rapidly to become general superintendent of the island’s schools and chief of the Education Department’s Statistics Division in 1906. Returning to the states, he moved to New York City and joined the Russell Sage Foundation in 1908 to conduct investigations of the health and education of schoolchildren under the direction of ...

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Bergmann, Gustav (04 May 1906–21 April 1987), philosopher and mathematician, was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Fritz Bergmann, an import/export merchant, and Therese Pollack. Before Bergmann took a Ph.D. in mathematics with a minor in philosophy in 1928 at the University of Vienna, he had already been invited to join the famous Vienna Circle. This group of philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians had adopted what they called logical positivism (or sometimes logical empiricism): advocating a scientific world view, they rejected traditional metaphysics and religion as meaningless and regarded ethical and aesthetic statements as only expressions of attitudes. As one of the youngest members of the Circle along with his Gymnasium classmate, the mathematical logician ...

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Bronowski, Jacob (18 January 1908–22 August 1974), mathematician and historian and philosopher of science, was born in Łódź (in what is now Poland), the son of Abram Bronowski and Celia Flatto, occupations unknown. During his childhood his family moved first to Germany (1912) and then to England (1920). In 1927 he entered the University of Cambridge to study mathematics, receiving his Ph.D. in 1933. He also helped found and edit a literary magazine, ...

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Byerly, William Elwood (13 December 1849–20 December 1935), mathematician and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Elwood Byerly, a merchant, and Rebecca Potts Wayne. Byerly grew up in New Jersey, where he was privately tutored until he entered Harvard University in the fall of 1867. He received his A.B. in 1871 at the top of his class, which included ...

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Church, Alonzo (14 June 1903–11 August 1995), mathematician and philosopher, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Samuel Robbins Church, a judge, and Mildred Hannah Letterman Parker. Church attended Princeton University, receiving an A.B. in 1924 and a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1927. While at Princeton, Church married Mary Julia Kuczinski, a practical nurse, in 1926; they had three children....

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Dorchester, Daniel (11 March 1827–13 March 1907), Methodist clergyman and statistician of American church history, was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, the son of the Reverend Daniel Dorchester, a Methodist clergyman, and Mary Otis. He attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, for two years; in 1847 he entered the Methodist ministry. In April 1850 he married Mary Payson Davis; they had seven children. Mary died in 1874, and in 1875 Dorchester married Merial A. Whipple....

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Greenwood, Isaac (11 May 1702–12 October 1745), professor of mathematics and experimental philosophy, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Greenwood and Elizabeth Bronsdon (occupations unknown). Baptized and raised in Increase Mather and Cotton Mather’s North Church, Greenwood followed the Mathers in their scientific interests. At Harvard College he became a favorite of tutor ...

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Grew, Theophilus (?–1759), schoolteacher and mathematician, was of unknown parentage. There is no extant information on his early personal life or education. By the early 1730s he was skilled enough in astronomical computations to prepare almanacs, and presumably he resided in Maryland. His first known almanac, ...

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Halsted, George Bruce (23 November 1853–16 March 1922), professor of mathematics, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Oliver Spencer Halsted, Jr., a lawyer, and Adela Meeker. He attended Princeton University, as had his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and other members of the family. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree there in 1875, he briefly attended the Columbia School of Mines before becoming a student of ...

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Lax, Anneli (23 February 1922–24 September 1999), mathematician and educator, was born Anneli Cahn in Kattowitz, then in Germany but soon part of Poland following a plebiscite, the daughter of Alfred Cahn, a Jewish urological surgeon, and Margarete Kramer. In 1929, to escape discrimination against Germans, the family moved to Berlin. It was a move from the frying pan into the fire; in 1933 Adolf Hitler came to power, and the Cahn family fled, first to Paris, where Anneli learned French. Love of the French language stayed with her the rest of her life. Unable to settle permanently in France, the family moved to Palestine and in 1935 to the United States....