Edward Vermilye Huntington (April 26, 1874November 25, 1952) was an American

This mathematical algorithm has been used in the U.S. since 1941 and is currently the method used. In 1919, Huntington was the third President of theView/Search Fellows of the ASA

accessed 2016-07-23.

Photograph of E. V. Huntington

courtesy of the

NEW SETS OF INDEPENDENT POSTULATES FOR THE ALGEBRA OF LOGIC, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO WHITEHEAD AND RUSSELL’S PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA^{*}

by EDWARD V. HUNTINGTON from January 1933 {{DEFAULTSORT:Huntington, Edward Vermilye 1874 births 1952 deaths Harvard University alumni Williams College faculty University of Strasbourg alumni Harvard University faculty Fellows of the American Statistical Association Presidents of the Mathematical Association of America 20th-century American mathematicians

mathematician
A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in their work, typically to solve mathematical problems.
Mathematicians are concerned with numbers, data, quantity, structure, space, models, and change.
History
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Biography

Huntington was awarded the B.A. and the M.A. byHarvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the Puritan clergyman John Harvard, it is the oldest institution of highe ...

in 1895 and 1897, respectively. After two years' teaching at Williams College
Williams College is a private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It was established as a men's college in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams, a colonist from the Province of Massachusetts Bay who was kill ...

, he began a doctorate at the University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg (french: Université de Strasbourg, Unistra) is a public research university located in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, with over 52,000 students and 3,300 researchers.
The French university traces its history to the ea ...

, which was awarded in 1901. He then spent his entire career at Harvard, retiring in 1941. He taught in the engineering school, becoming Professor of Mechanics in 1919. Although Huntington's research was mainly in pure mathematics, he valued teaching mathematics to engineering students. He advocated mechanical calculators and had one in his office. He had an interest in statistics
Statistics (from German: ''Statistik'', "description of a state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, indust ...

, unusual for the time, and worked on statistical problems for the USA military during World War I.
Huntington's primary research interest was the foundations of mathematics
Foundations of mathematics is the study of the philosophical and logical and/or algorithmic basis of mathematics, or, in a broader sense, the mathematical investigation of what underlies the philosophical theories concerning the nature of mathe ...

. He was one of the "American postulate theorists" (according to Michael Scanlan, the expression is due to John Corcoran), American mathematicians active early in the 20th century (including E. H. Moore
Eliakim Hastings Moore (; January 26, 1862 – December 30, 1932), usually cited as E. H. Moore or E. Hastings Moore, was an American mathematician.
Life
Moore, the son of a Methodist minister and grandson of US Congressman Eliakim H. Moore, di ...

and Oswald Veblen
Oswald Veblen (June 24, 1880 – August 10, 1960) was an American mathematician, geometer and topologist, whose work found application in atomic physics and the theory of relativity. He proved the Jordan curve theorem in 1905; while this was long ...

) who proposed axiom sets for a variety of mathematical systems. In so doing, they helped found what is now known as metamathematics
Metamathematics is the study of mathematics itself using mathematical methods. This study produces metatheories, which are mathematical theories about other mathematical theories. Emphasis on metamathematics (and perhaps the creation of the ter ...

and model theory
In mathematical logic, model theory is the study of the relationship between formal theories (a collection of sentences in a formal language expressing statements about a mathematical structure), and their models (those structures in which the ...

.
Huntington was perhaps the most prolific of the American postulate theorists, devising sets of axiom
An axiom, postulate, or assumption is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments. The word comes from the Ancient Greek word (), meaning 'that which is thought worthy or f ...

s (which he called "postulates") for groups, abelian group
In mathematics, an abelian group, also called a commutative group, is a group in which the result of applying the group operation to two group elements does not depend on the order in which they are written. That is, the group operation is comm ...

s, geometry
Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space such as the distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is c ...

, the real number field, and complex number
In mathematics, a complex number is an element of a number system that extends the real numbers with a specific element denoted , called the imaginary unit and satisfying the equation i^= -1; every complex number can be expressed in the form ...

s. His 1902 axiomatization of the real numbers has been characterized as "one of the first successes of abstract mathematics" and as having "filled the last gap in the foundations of Euclidean geometry". Huntington excelled at proving axioms independent of each other by finding a sequence of models, each one satisfying all but one of the axioms in a given set. His 1917 book ''The Continuum and Other Types of Serial Order'' was in its day "...a widely read introduction to Cantorian set theory
Set theory is the branch of mathematical logic that studies sets, which can be informally described as collections of objects. Although objects of any kind can be collected into a set, set theory, as a branch of mathematics, is mostly concer ...

" (Scanlan 1999). Yet Huntington and the other American postulate theorists played no role in the rise of axiomatic set theory
Set theory is the branch of mathematical logic that studies sets, which can be informally described as collections of objects. Although objects of any kind can be collected into a set, set theory, as a branch of mathematics, is mostly concern ...

then taking place in continental Europe.
In 1904, Huntington put Boolean algebra
In mathematics and mathematical logic, Boolean algebra is a branch of algebra. It differs from elementary algebra in two ways. First, the values of the variables are the truth values ''true'' and ''false'', usually denoted 1 and 0, whereas i ...

on a sound axiomatic foundation. He revisited Boolean axiomatics in 1933, proving that Boolean algebra required but a single binary operation
In mathematics, a binary operation or dyadic operation is a rule for combining two elements (called operands) to produce another element. More formally, a binary operation is an operation of arity two.
More specifically, an internal binary op ...

(denoted below by infix
An infix is an affix inserted inside a word stem (an existing word or the core of a family of words). It contrasts with '' adfix,'' a rare term for an affix attached to the outside of a stem, such as a prefix or suffix.
When marking text for i ...

'+') that commutes and associates, and a single unary operation
In mathematics, an unary operation is an operation with only one operand, i.e. a single input. This is in contrast to binary operations, which use two operands. An example is any function , where is a set. The function is a unary operation o ...

, complementation, denoted by a postfix prime. The only further axiom Boolean algebra requires is:
:(''a'' '+''b'' ')'+(''a'' '+''b'')' = ''a'',
now known as Huntington's axiom.
Revising a method from Joseph Adna Hill
Joseph Adna Hill (1860–1938) was an American statistician, born at Stewartstown, New Hampshire. Hill was descended from "an elite, old-line New England family," and attended many well-regarded educational institutions: after graduating from P ...

, Huntington is credited with the method of equal proportions or Huntington–Hill method of apportionment
The legal term apportionment (french: apportionement; Mediaeval Latin: , derived from la, portio, share), also called delimitation, is in general the distribution or allotment of proper shares, though may have different meanings in different c ...

of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives, often referred to as the House of Representatives, the U.S. House, or simply the House, is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they ...

to the states, as a function of their populations determined in the U.S. CensusThis mathematical algorithm has been used in the U.S. since 1941 and is currently the method used. In 1919, Huntington was the third President of the

Mathematical Association of America
The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is a professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure ...

, which he helped found as a charter member and its first vice-president. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (abbreviation: AAA&S) is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. It was founded in 1780 during the American Revolution by John Adams, John Hancock, James Bowdoin, Andrew Oliver, ...

in 1913 and the American Philosophical Society
The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 in Philadelphia, is a scholarly organization that promotes knowledge in the sciences and humanities through research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and communit ...

in 1933. In 1942 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association
Like many other academic professional societies, the American Statistical Association (ASA) uses the title of Fellow of the American Statistical Association as its highest honorary grade of membership. The number of new fellows per year is limited ...

.accessed 2016-07-23.

Notes

References

* Scanlan, M. (1999) "Edward Vermilye Huntington,"American National Biography
The ''American National Biography'' (ANB) is a 24-volume biographical encyclopedia set that contains about 17,400 entries and 20 million words, first published in 1999 by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the American Council of Le ...

11: 534-36, Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books ...

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External links

*Photograph of E. V. Huntington

courtesy of the

Mathematical Association of America
The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is a professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure ...

.
NEW SETS OF INDEPENDENT POSTULATES FOR THE ALGEBRA OF LOGIC, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO WHITEHEAD AND RUSSELL’S PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA

by EDWARD V. HUNTINGTON from January 1933 {{DEFAULTSORT:Huntington, Edward Vermilye 1874 births 1952 deaths Harvard University alumni Williams College faculty University of Strasbourg alumni Harvard University faculty Fellows of the American Statistical Association Presidents of the Mathematical Association of America 20th-century American mathematicians