Edward Burr Van Vleck (1863 - 1943)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Edward Burr Van Vleck


Edward Burr Van Vleck (June 7, 1863, Middletown, Connecticut – June 3, 1943, Madison, Wisconsin) was an American mathematician.

The son of astronomer John Monroe Van Vleck, he graduated from Wesleyan University in 1884, attended Johns Hopkins in 1885-87, and studied at Göttingen (Ph.D., 1893). He also received 1 July 1914 an honorary doctorate of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). He was assistant professor and professor at Wesleyan (1895-1906), and after 1906 a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where the mathematics building is named after him. His doctoral students include H. S. Wall. In 1913 he became president of the American Mathematical Society, of whose Transactions he had been first associate editor (1902–05) and then editor (1905–10). He was the author of Theory of Divergent Series and Algebraic Continued Fractions (1903), and of several monographs in mathematical journals. His son, John Hasbrouck van Vleck, was a notable physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1977.


"On the polynomials of Stieltjes". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 4 (9): 426–438. 1898. MR 1557633.

"On the convergence of continued fractions with complex elements". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 2 (3): 215–233. 1901. MR 1500565.

"A determination of the number of real and imaginary roots of the hypergeometric series". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 3 (1): 110–131. 1902. MR 1500456.

"On the convergence of algebraic continued fractions whose coefficients have limiting values". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 5 (3): 253–262. 1904. MR 1500672.

Selected topics in the theory of divergent series and of continued fractions (New York; MacMillan, 1905).

Japanese art collector

E. B. van Vleck is also important art collector, particularly in the medium of Japanese woodblock prints (principally Ukiyo-e), known as Van Vleck Collection. He began collecting around 1909, but became a serious collector in the late 1920s, when he acquired approximately 4,000 prints that had been owned by Frank Lloyd Wright. His collection, one of the largest in the world outside the Library of Congress, features more than 2,000 prints by Utagawa Hiroshige as well as many prints by Hokusai, and fine examples of shin hanga (new prints) made well into the 20th century. His collection now resides at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Edward Burr Van Vleck's Timeline

March 13, 1899
Age 36
Madison, Dane, Wisconsin, United States
Age 80