Peirce, James Mills
- Joseph D. Zund
Peirce, James Mills (01 May 1834–21 March 1906), mathematician and educator, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Peirce and Sarah Hunt Mills. At the time of James’s birth, his father was University Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Harvard, and he is regarded as both one of the first American scientists of distinction and the foremost American mathematician of his era. Peirce graduated with an A.B. from Harvard in 1853, after which he studied for a year in the Harvard Law School. From 1854 to 1858 he was a tutor in mathematics at Harvard, and he was awarded his A.M. in mathematics in 1856. He then attended the Harvard Divinity School in 1857 and received a B.D. in 1859. From 1859 to 1861 he preached in Unitarian churches in the Boston area; upon abandoning the ministry in 1861, he returned to Harvard and became an assistant professor of mathematics. He was promoted to professor in 1869, and in 1885 he succeeded his father as Perkins Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, a position that he held until his death....