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VANDIVER, HARRY SHULTZ (1882–1973). Harry Shultz Vandiver, mathematician and professor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 21, 1882, the son of John Lyon and Ida Frances (Everett) Vandiver. He attended Central High School in Philadelphia but did not receive a high school diploma. Although he never took any undergraduate program he did attend some graduate classes at the University of Pennsylvania in 1904–05. He was associated with John L. Vandiver, a customhouse broker, in Philadelphia from 1905 to 1919, and was a member of the United States Naval Reserve from 1917 to 1919. From 1919 to 1924 he was an instructor of mathematics at Cornell University. He began teaching at the University of Texas in 1924 as an associate professor of pure mathematics. In 1935 he was made a full professor. The university named him distinguished professor of applied mathematics and astronomy in 1947, and he retired in 1966. At various times he was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, the University of Indiana, and Notre Dame University. He received numerous research appointments, including four Heckscher Research Foundation grants (1920–23), two Guggenheim Memorial Fund grants (1927, 1930), and two Penrose Research grants from the American Philosophical Society (1934, 1940). He won the Frank Nelson Cole Prize of the American Mathematical Society (1931) for his paper "Fermat's Last Theorem," a study of the number theory of Pierre de Fermat, a seventeenth-century French lawyer and amateur astronomer. Vandiver's international reputation was established with this paper. He was the author of more than 175 scholarly articles in such fields as number theory, finite algebras, fields, rings, and groups. He was recognized as a leading scholar of the history of mathematics, as well as of the laws of reciprocity, cyclotomic and relative Abelian algebraic fields, and constructive algebraic theories. He was a member of numerous scholarly organizations and was at various times editor of Annals of Math and Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. In 1945 the University of Pennsylvania awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree. Vandiver was married to Maude Folmsbee Everson on July 25, 1923, and the couple had one son, Frank E. Vandiver, a historian. Harry Vandiver died in Austin on January 4, 1973, and was buried in Austin Memorial Park. His papers were donated to the University of Texas and housed at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.


Austin American, January 5, 1973. Austin American-Statesman, January 6, 1973. Carl John Eckhardt, One Hundred Faithful to the University of Texas at Austin (197-?). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1960–61.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"VANDIVER, HARRY SHULTZ," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed January 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.