AMS Presidents: A Timeline home page

7. Thomas Scott Fiske (18651944) President, 19031904 Ph.D. Columbia University, New York, New York, 1888Fiske founded the American Mathematical Society in 1888 to foster comradeship and communication among mathematicians. He had visited England where he witnessed a vibrant mathematical community, and upon his return home he called for the establishment of such a society in the United States: "It is proposed by some recent students of the graduate school of Columbia College to establish a mathematical society for the purpose of preserving, supplementing, and utilizing the results of their mathematical studies." It was Fiske's strong support that saw the Colloquium lecture series begin in 1896and continue to this day. 
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