American mathematics was experiencing growing pains in the 1920s. It had looked to Europe at least since the 1890s when many Americans had gone abroad to pursue their advanced mathematical studies. It was anxious to assert itself on the international—that is, at least at this moment in time, European—mathematical scene. How, though, could the Americans change the European perception from one of apprentice/master to one of mathematical equals? How could Europe, especially Germany but to a lesser extent France, Italy, England, and elsewhere, come fully to sense the development of the mathematical United States? If such changes could be effected at all, they would likely involve American and European mathematicians in active dialogue, working shoulder to shoulder in Europe and in the United States, and publishing side by side in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. This talk will explore one side of this “equation”: European mathematicians and their experiences in the United States in the 1920s.
- History of Mathematics