The American Mathematical Monthly (1894–1919): a new journal in the service of mathematics and its educators. (English) Zbl 1404.01026

Zack, Maria (ed.) et al., Research in history and philosophy of mathematics. The CSHPM 2015 annual meeting in Washington, D. C., USA, August, 2015. Basel: Birkhäuser/Springer (ISBN 978-3-319-43269-4/hbk; 978-3-319-46615-6/ebook). Proceedings of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics/La Société Canadienne d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Mathématiques, 193-204 (2016).
First composed for a celebration of the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) centennial, this brief chapter under review surveys the first quarter-century of the ‘American Mathematical Monthly’ (AMM) and its role in the MAA’s creation. Launched in 1894 as a publication for secondary school teachers and students, the AMM’s editors aimed to fill a niche for secondary school audiences in the American mathematical literature and ended up carving out a further constituency among collegiate mathematicians, who took a decisive precedence in the journal’s second decade. Once reoriented toward this collegiate audience, the author argues, the AMM became a vehicle for collegiate mathematics instructors’ professionalization and legitimation. Tensions over the journal’s prospective relationship to the research-oriented American Mathematical Society spurred the late-1915 inauguration of the MAA, which adopted the AMM as its official journal and took on its mission to professionalize collegiate instruction. The author supports her analysis with references to editorial statements and a selection of significant AMM contributions, combined with biographies, institutional histories, retrospectives, and a judicious selection from the secondary literature on this period of American mathematics to which the author has been a prolific and authoritative contributor. This accessible article cogently characterizes the unintended early legacy of a significant journal and its associated constituency in a formative period for the American mathematics profession.
For the entire collection see [Zbl 1362.01004].


01A60 History of mathematics in the 20th century
01A74 History of mathematics at institutions and academies (non-university)
01A90 Bibliographic studies
97-03 History of mathematics education
Full Text: DOI


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