A Brief History of the American Mathematical Society

The American Mathematical Society (AMS) got its start in 1888 as the New York Mathematical Society, the brainchild of mathematician Thomas Fiske. In 1891, Charlotte Scott became the first woman to join, and in 1894 the society reorganized under its present name, becoming a national group. Julia Robinson became the first female president of the AMS in 1983, and in 1988 the AMS first published the Journal of the American Mathematical Society, as its flagship periodical. Today, some 30,000 individuals and 570 institutions worldwide make up the AMS.

  • American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America
    American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America Announce AMS Acquisition of MAA Book Program

    The American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America announced September 29 an agreement for the AMS to acquire the MAA?s book publishing program. The high-quality mathematics titles and textbooks developed and edited by MAA Press will now be published as an imprint of the AMS Book Program. This agreement includes all existing MAA Press books, as well as a renewable license to continue to publish new books under the MAA Press imprint.

  • AMS 125th Anniversary
    AMS 125th Anniversary

    November 24, 2013 — In 2013, the AMS celebrated 125 years of advancing mathematics.

  • 2012

    Fellows of the American Mathematical Society Introduced

    The goals of the Fellows Program are:

    • To create an enlarged class of mathematicians recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the profession
    • To honor not only the extraordinary but also the excellent
    • To lift the morale of the profession by providing an honor more accessible than those currently available
    • To make mathematicians more competitive for awards, promotion and honors when they are being compared with colleagues from other disciplines
    • To support the advancement of more mathematicians in leadership positions in their own institutions and in the broader society
  • Largest JMM in history — January 4, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts

    This Joint Mathematics Meeting was the largest JMM in history. Close to 7200 registered! Were you there?

  • 2010

    AMS Research Journals Archive is Digitized

    The American Mathematical Society established a complete digital archive of its mathematical research journals. Over 34,000 articles are available from more than one hundred years of high-quality mathematical research in Journal of the AMS, Mathematics of Computation, Proceedings of the AMS, Transactions of the AMS, and Bulletin of the AMS. All back issues, starting with each journal's inaugural issue through the present, are now available in electronic format.

  • Inaugural Mathematics Research Communities (MRC) summer conferences
    Inaugural Mathematics Research Communities (MRC) summer conferences

    The inaugural Mathematics Research Communities (MRC) summer conferences,Teichmüller Theory and Low-Dimensional Topology, Scientific Computing and Advanced Computation and Computational Algebra and Convexity, were held at the Snowbird Resort in Utah, June 14-27.

  • AMS partnered with Duke Department of Mathematics to offer job application program MathJobs.org
    AMS partnered with Duke Department of Mathematics to offer job application program MathJobs.org

    Learn more at MathJobs

  • 2000

    SIAM joined the AMS and MAA in sponsoring the JMM

  • 1999

    Over 500,000 reviews added to the MathSciNet® database.

    The American Mathematical Society completed its two-year project of adding full-text reviews from the early archives of Mathematical Reviews (MR) to the MathSciNet database. During that project, all reviews from 1940-1979 were keyboarded–over 80,000 pages of Mathematical Reviews. The number of searchable reviews from 1940 to the present now on MathSciNet totals nearly 1,400,000. The entire collection contains for the first time online searchable reviews of a major part of mathematics from the past 60 years.

  • MSN
    MathSciNet Version 1.0, became available to subscribers.

    MathSciNet - the online subscription service from the AMS - provides searching of over 55 years of Mathematical Reviews and Current Mathematical Publications. Mathematical Reviews is available from 1940 to the present with full text of reviews available from 1980 to the present.

  • MathSciNet<sup>®</sup> Version 0.5 beta released
    MathSciNet® Version 0.5 beta released

    The first public beta version of MathSciNet, the American Mathematical Society's World Wide Web version of the Mathematical Reviews database, is released for testing. Scheduled for public release on January 1, 1996, MathSciNet delivers unparalleled access to the Mathematical Reviews database by taking full advantage of the Web's hypertext linking capabilities. Access MathSciNet online

  • Donald Babbitt appointed as first publisher of the AMS.
    Donald Babbitt appointed as first publisher of the AMS
  • The e-Math website came online
    The e-Math website came online
  • 1992

    AMS opened Washington, DC office

    The AMS Strategic Planning Task Force concludes that the AMS must have an effective, proactive, and sustaining presence in the national decision-making process – a presence than can best be achieved by physically locating and AMS office and staff in Washington.

  • 1990

    e-MATH Introduced

    On October 15th the AMS introduced e-MATH, its new electronic service for the mathematical profession. Access was available via TELNET . In its first month of operation, more than 1500 accesses were logged.

    The AMS began offering electronic pre-registration for meetings by email

  • MathSci Disc Released
    MathSci Disc Released

    In March of 1989, the AMS became the first scientific society to release its database on CD-ROM. Called MathSci Disc, the CD-ROM collection contained all of the reviews from MR 1985 - 1988 and 70,000 Current Mathematical Publications records on one 3.5 inch compact disc.

  • Mathematical Reviews staff and operations moved to Ann Arbor Michigan
    Mathematical Reviews staff and operations moved to Ann Arbor Michigan

    The editorial office was initially at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, but moved to the nearby AMS office in 1951 when the AMS moved from New York to Providence.

    Since 1965, the editorial office has been in Ann Arbor, in several different locations, including its present home in a suitably colored orange brick building, built as the Michigan Union Brewery in 1902.

    Learn more about Mathematical Reviews from this informative video

  • Notices of the American Mathematical Society commenced publication
    Notices of the American Mathematical Society commenced publication

    Notices of the American Mathematical Society commenced publication. "The Council of the Society, on October 24, 1953 voted to establish a new periodical called Notices of the American Mathematical Society. In establishing the Notices, the Council have sought to include only material of temporary interest, which should in general be discarded quickly although it can be preserved by those who wish to." Ref: Notices, Issue 1, February 1954. P3. Read The Notices online

  • 1953

    Employment Center
    Employment Center

    Now known as the Employment Center, the Employment Register began in 1953 as just a binder of job openings at academic institutions, industrial firms and government agencies which was passed from meeting to meeting.

  • Mathematical Reviews commenced publication
    Mathematical Reviews commenced publication

    Mathematical Reviews commenced publication in January 1940 with Volume 1, Number 1. This issue contained 32 pages and 176 reviews.

    Interesting fact: Up until 1942, the Society gave a premium consisting of a microfilm reading machine with an initial three year subscription to MR.

  • The first AMS sectional meeting was held
    The first AMS sectional meeting was held
  • The Society published its first book -- Proceedings of the International Mathematical Congress of 1893
    The Society published its first book — Proceedings of the International Mathematical Congress of 1893
  • 1892

    Bulletin of the New York Mathematical Society commenced publication
    Bulletin of the New York Mathematical Society commenced publication
  • John Howard Van Amringe
    John Howard Van Amringe (1835-1915)

    In 1888, Van Amringe was elected as the society's first president. He spent his entire academic career at Columbia College, and was actively involved in his church, served on the boards of the New York Historical Society and St. Luke's Hospital, and frequently attended caucuses of his poitical party in New York City. He was a revered teacher, active alumnus, great orator, and prominent first leader of the AMS.