Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, 1923
Wilder's Master's degree was in actuarial mathematics, but he became a leader in the development of the field of topology in the U.S.: He synthesized set-theoretic topology and algebraic topology. He spent a large part of his academic career at the University of Michigan (1936-1967), and then became a research associate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In later years he became interested in the history of mathematics, which led him to publish studies using anthropological ideas: Evolution of Mathematical Concepts (1968) and Mathematics as a Cultural System (1981). Wilder was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.