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West Point and the Hudson River Valley V. Frederick Rickey Professor of Mathematics United States Military Academy 16 February 2005

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Why is West Point where it is?

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George Washington and Tadeusz Kościuszko

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Professor Baron furnished me with Dr. Hutton's Mathematics, and gave me a specimen of his mode of teaching at the blackboard at the academy. Joseph G. Swift, first graduate of West Point. First use in US?

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Eleazer Derby Wood, USMA 1806

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Sylvanus Thayer, USMA 1808 Assistant Professor of Mathematics, USMA, Superintendent, USMA, “Father of the Military Academy”

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Thayer Went to France, Visited the Ecole Polytechnique in France Brought back 1000 technical books, maps, and ideas about teaching

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The Thayer Method of Teaching Cadets read; no lectures Every cadet is graded every day Small sections of Sections grouped by performance

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Charles Davies ( ) USMA 1815 Dept Head Published 49 books 492 printings/edn’s By 1875 he was selling 350,000 books per year

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Some Problems from Davies By the census of 1850, New York had a population of upon an area of square miles: what was the population to the square mile? By what number must 7/9 be multiplied, that the product may be 14/15? If a single rail, of a railroad, be 9 feet in length, how many rails would be required for a road, whose length is 12 mi. 5 fur. 3 rd. 4 yd.?

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Robert Parker Parrott, USMA 1824

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Delafield rifled 3-inch cannon

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Oliver Otis Howard, USMA 1854 Civil War General Founder of Howard University in Washington, DC

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Robert Edward Lee, USMA 1829 Taught mathematics as a cadet Superintendent at West Point Civil War General

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Montgomery Meigs, USMA 1836 Built the wings and dome of the Capitol Quartermaster during the Civil War

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George Armstrong Custer, USMA 1861 Last in his class The Youngest General

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Henry Ossian Flipper USMA 1877 First Black Graduate

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George W. Goethels, USMA 1880 Built the Panama Canal

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The first Army-Navy football game, Navy won, 24-0.

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Resectioning in 1899 This 1890 copy of Davies’ Algebra and Trigonometry was owned by U.S. Grant (USMA 1903). He was first in the second section and then moved to 5 th in 1 st ─ behind Douglas MacArthur.

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Ulysses S. Grant (USMA 1843) applied four times to become an instructor in Mathematics, but was turned down. Prof Church believed Grant’s mediocre performance in mathematics did not qualify him to teach in the department. This demonstrates that it is easier to become President than to become an instructor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

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Douglas MacArthur, USMA 1903 In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country. May 12, 1962

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Omar Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower USMA 1915

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Women at USMA: R-Day applied for the class of 1980 (of 6761) 176 were found qualified 148 offered admissions 116 entered in June 1976 Today 15% of the class are women

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87 Women Graduated in 1980

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COL Kathi Snook Graduated : MA in applied math : “rotator” in mathematics 1997: Ed.D., Boston University 2002: Retired from the Army

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How do you get your hat back?

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USMA Mission To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country; professional growth throughout a career as an officer in the United States Army; and a lifetime of selfless service to the nation.

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