Department of Mathematics

Heads of the department

John D. Runkle 1865-1902
Harry Walter Tyler 1902-1930
Frederick S. Woods 1930-1934
Henry Bayard Phillips 1934-1947
William Ted Martin 1947-1968
Norman Levinson 1968-1971
Kenneth M. Hoffman 1971-1978
Daniel Kleitman 1978-1983
Arthur P. Mattuck 1983-1989
David Benney 1989-1999
David A. Vogan, Jr. 1999-2004
Michael Sipser 2004-2014
Tomasz S. Mrowka 2014-

Mathematics was taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from the time the Institute first held classes in 1865. John D. Runkle, second president of MIT, oversaw the mathematics program until his death in 1902; he viewed it as a service department for the instruction of engineers. For many years the mathematics department was Section III of Course IX, General Studies.

In 1933, under the direction of MIT president Karl Taylor Compton who strengthened the study and research of scientific disciplines at the Institute, mathematics became an independent department, designated Course XVIII in the School of Science.

Prepared by the Institute Archives, MIT Libraries
October 1995; updated October 2003