The Mathematics Genealogy Project
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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


I think some of your data is wrong. How do I have it corrected?

Please click the link the individual's page to submit a data update. We will process your submission as time allows, as we review all submissions by hand. You may also wish to contact Harry Coonce, our founder and managing director, regarding your question. Back to top.

I found two entries in your data for the same mathematician. How should I report this?

At this time, we do not have a web form for reporting duplicate entries. Please email Harry Coonce to report the duplicate. When doing so, include the web addresses of the pages for the duplicated entries. Back to top.

I submitted a data update, but I see no changes to the individual's information

All of our data is currently reviewed and processed manually, so there will be a delay in the update being reflected in our online database. Please do not submit data updates multiple times. If three weeks have passed and your data update still is not reflected, you may want to contact Diana Beck. Back to top.

I think your descendant count is wrong, as it says that John Q. Mathematician has n descendants, but his list of students has n+5 students on it!

Because of the time required to run the descendant counting program, it is only run once per week (early morning US Central Time on Sundays), while our data is updated nightly. If the problem doesn't remedy itself (on our main NDSU server) by Sunday afternoon, send an email to Mitch Keller. Back to top.

I'm researching my family's genealogy, and I have found a Jane Q. Mathematician in my ancestry. There is a Jane Q. Mathematician listed on your website. Can you provide me any further information?

The Mathematics Genealogy Project catalogs information on individuals with doctoral degrees in mathematics. In our genealogy, one's parent(s) are his/her doctoral advisor(s). All information that we have in our database is listed on that person's page. If you believe the individual in our database may still be alive, you might try searching the Combined Membership List of the major American and Canadian mathematical organizations. Back to top.

Can you send me a copy of a thesis whose title I found in your database?

The Mathematics Genealogy Project only catalogs the information displayed on our site. In most cases, we have done this through data submitted by our site's visitors. Thus, we have never even seen a copy of the thesis, let alone made an archival copy of it. If you are really interested in getting ahold of a thesis, you might try contacting the library at the university that granted the degree. (No, we do not maintain contact information for such libraries, so please do not email us to ask.) Back to top.

I would like to contact Dr. John Q. Mathematician whose name I found on your site. How can I email him?

The listing of an individual in our database does not imply any connection to the Department of Mathematics at North Dakota State University or the American Mathematical Society. Because of the tremendous number of mathematicians in our database, we are unable to maintain current contact information for them. You might try searching the Combined Membership List of the major American and Canadian mathematical organizations. Back to top.

Will you provide a link from my genealogy page to my personal or work home page?

No. We are kept busy adding new records to our database and correcting errors in existing records; our limited time and budget do not allow us to keep up-to-date website links for mathematicians in our database. Back to top.

Where do you get your data?

We depend on information from our visitors for most of our data. We also enter the information published annually in the Notices of the AMS. In cases of partial information, we search Dissertation Abstracts International in an effort to find complete information. We have also entered a considerable amount of data found on lists of graduates maintained by individual departments. If you have data to provide, we will take it in whatever form you can provide it. Please contact our data manager Diana Beck to discuss possible formats. Back to top.

How complete is your data?

For recent PhD graduates from American universities our data is fairly complete. We have received complete data lists from the majority of the PhD-granting mathematics departments in the United States (with some notable exceptions), but our coverage of universities in other countries is not so good (particularly Asian countries). We are also still working on acquiring complete data from departments of computer science and statistics (which fall within our definition of "mathematician") around the world. If you can provide us with data or a person to contact about acquiring data at a particular institution, please contact our data manager Diana Beck to discuss possible formats. Back to top.

What do the flags on mathematicians' pages represent?

The flags displayed on mathematicians' pages are intended to represent the country of the school from which they received their degree(s). In some cases, we have inadvertently omitted the appropriate link to provide the flag. You may contact Amanda Matson to have this corrected. Back to top.

What is a good way to display information on my mathematical ancestry?

We make personalized genealogy posters that are a great way to show off your mathematical ancestry. All proceeds go to support the students who work on the project and other costs associated with maintaining the project. Back to top.

How many visitors do you get to your site?

As of April 2007, we are averaging over 4100 unique visitors per day on our primary server, amounting to roughly 13.8GB of HTTP traffic per month. This does not include traffic counts for any of our mirrors or non-viewed traffic (such as the Googlebot or other automated crawlers). Back to top.

I think I found a bug with your site. Who do I contact?

Technical questions, suggestions, and bug reports should be sent to Assistant Director Mitch Keller (email), who is currently a PhD student in the School of Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Back to top.

I have a question not answered here. Who should I contact?

For general questions related to the project, email Harry Coonce. For technical questions related to the website, email Mitch Keller. Back to top.

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The Mathematics Genealogy Project is a service of the Department of Mathematics, North Dakota State University.

Supported in part by a grant from The Clay Mathematics Institute.

The genealogy project is in need of funds to help pay for student help and such. If you would like to contribute to this cause please send your tax-deductible contribution to:

Mathematics Genealogy Project
300 Minard Hall
P. O. Box 5075
Fargo, North Dakota 58105-5075

Please send questions/comments to