Louisiana-Mississippi: Cradle of Presidents

by Dick Anderson, February 2000

The MAA, founded in 1915, has 29 sections. The Louisiana-Mississippi Section has had an unbelievable number of its former undergraduate students go to become Presidents of the MAA, the presidency being a two-year position. Below is a listing of such Presidents and their undergraduate schools in our section.

*Gail S. Young went on to the University of Texas as a part-time Instructor for his final undergraduate year 1938-39.

Bill Duren and Gail Young both also served on the faculty at Tulane. R. D. Anderson, President MAA in 1981-82, is a long time LSU faculty member. E.J. McShane was one of five mathematicians to serve as President of each of the MAA and the AMS. The others were Earl Raymond Hedrick, Saunders MacLane, R.L. Wilder, and R.H. Bing. Ed Moise and Dick Anderson both also served as vice-presidents of the AMS.

Bill Duren and Baley Price played vital roles in the mid-fifties in getting the MAA and the larger mathematics community actively involved in reform of both undergraduate and school curricula.

Of the mathematicians mentioned above, five - Wilder, Young, Bing, Moise and Anderson - wrote dissertations in topology under R. L. Moore at the University of Texas, the last four being consecutive doctoral students of Moore from 1942 to 1948.

It should also be noted that Paul Rees of our section has the distinction of being the current MAA member who has had the longest service in the MAA. Paul's membership started January 1, 1924.