Glenn James, Mathematics: Los Angeles


1882-1961
Associate Professor Emeritus

Professor Emeritus Glenn James, of the Department of Mathematics, died on September 2, 1961, at Arroyo Grande, California. He had retired from active teaching in 1949, but his interest in mathematics did not lag after his retirement. He devoted a consuming interest to revitalizing a dying mathematics journal, and as its managing editor brought the Mathematics Magazine to a plane of high recognition. Because he was unable to continue this work on account of poor health, the Mathematical Association of America took the magazine under its sponsorship in 1959, and is continuing its publication; it will stand as a living memorial to Professor James.

Dr. James was born on October 2, 1882, in Lincolnville, Indiana. Both of his parents were teachers and both were active in the Society of Friends; he followed in his parents' footsteps.

After receiving the A.B. degree from Indiana University in 1905, he went first to Michigan Agricultural College and then to Purdue University as Instructor in Mathematics, while still continuing his advanced studies. He received the A.M. degree from Indiana University in 1911, and his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in 1917. He was then promoted to Assistant Professor at Purdue and, after several years, moved to Carnegie Institute of Technology as Associate Professor of Mathematics, where he remained until 1922. In that year he joined


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the faculty of the new Southern Branch of the University of California as Assistant Professor and became an Associate Professor in 1925.

Professor James's early writings evidenced an interest in the subject of Divergent Series and Summability, and his later writings in Fermat's Last Theorem. His activities and publications showed his interest in all students, and his better students he stimulated to engage in original work. One of his achievements is represented by his Mathematics Dictionary, first published in 1942, which he prepared in collaboration with his son, Robert C. James. This work has been revised several times since its original publication. The Mathematics Magazine took most of his time and energy after he retired. Out of this editorial work grew the book, The Tree of Mathematics, containing epitomes of twenty-five of the main branches of mathematics, written for the beginning student.

In addition to his mathematical interests, as a member of the Society of Friends, Professor James took a strong interest in various cooperative and peace movements. He devoted considerable time and energy to the propagation of his ideas along these lines.

Professor James is survived by his widow, Inez Clarke James, to whom he was married on September 5, 1917, and seven of their children: Professor Robert C. James, Harvey Mudd College; Dr. Walter R. James, Essex, Connecticut; Frances M. James of San Francisco; Dr. Arthur F. James, California State Polytechnic College; Glenn D. James, Los Angeles City College; and Howard James and Alice James of Arroyo Grande.

P. H. Daus Clifford Bell H. B. Hoffleit