Contribution of Oswald Veblen to AMS and its meaning in Korea

Oswald Veblen이 미국수학계에 미친 영향과 한국에서의 의미

  • Lee, Sang-Gu (Department of Mathematics, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Ham, Yoon-Mee (Department of Mathematics, Kyonggi University)
  • Published : 2009.05.31


This article discusses the contributions of the leader Oswald Veblen, who was the president of AMS during 1923-1924. In 2006, Korea ranked 12th in SCIE publications in mathematics, more than doubling its publications in less than 10 years, a successful model for a country with relatively short history of modern mathematical research. Now there are 192 four-year universities in Korea. Some 42 of these universities have Ph.D. granting graduate programs in mathematics and/or mathematical education in Korea. Rapid growth is observed over a broad spectrum including a phenomenal performance surge in International Mathematical Olympiad. Western mathematics was first introduced in Korea in the 17th century, but real significant mathematical contributions by Korean mathematicians in modern mathematics were not much known yet to the world. Surprisingly there is no Korean mathematician who could be found in MaC Tutor History Birthplace Map. We are at the time, to have a clear vision and leadership for the 21st century. Even with the above achievement, Korean mathematical community has had obstacles in funding. Many people thinks that mathematical research can be done without funding rather unlike other science subjects, even though they agree fundamental mathematical research is very important. We found that the experience of early American mathematical community can help us to give a vision and role model for Korean mathematical community. When we read the AMS Notice article 'The Vision, Insight, and Influence of Oswald Veblen' by Steve Batterson, it answers many of our questions on the development of American mathematics in early 20th century. We would like to share the story and analyze its meaning for the development of Korean Mathematics of 21st century.


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