Research: David Eugene Smith

| July 1, 2011

Research: David Eugene Smith

David Eugene Smith (1860 – 1944) was born in Cortland, New York. He studied philosophy at Syracuse University. At Syracuse University he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1881, his Master’s degree in 1884, and his PhD in 1887. He practiced law at his father’s law office, but left law to become a mathematics teacher at a local school. Smith then became a professor at Michigan State Normal College. In 1898 to 1901 he was the principal at the State Normal School in Brockport, NY. In 1901 he became a professor at Teachers College where he taught until 1926. Smith was among the first mathematics professors to focus on methods of teaching math and the history of math. He also stressed to his students the importance of considering international perspectives. He published many books and papers and one of his most notable publications is the two volume, History of Mathematics. Smith served as president of the Mathematical Association of America and founded the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics.