The Mathematics Genealogy Project

There is an interesting project (if you’re into math), The Mathematics Genealogy Project, that is being run by the Department of Mathematics, North Dakota State University. This is not a “traditional” genealogy project, in the sense of doing family history research, rather it’s oriented towards mapping out mathemeticians and the programs they are in, and the people that influenced them.

It’s mainly comprised of people that have doctoral degrees in mathematics. Where it gets the genealogy aspect, and how you read it is that in this particular project, a mathemetician’s “parents” are their doctoral advisors. Here is one example – Walter Murray has 28 students, but 35 descendants, because two of his students have went on to teach 7 students of their own.

This could be applied to areas outside of mathemetics, and is kind of an interesting use of genealogy.

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