Cyrus Colton MacDuffee
Cyrus Colton MacDuffee was born on June 29, 1895 in Oneida, New York to Cyrus Thompson and Elisabeth Louise (Sewirr) MacDuffee. He obtained his B.S. degree in 1917 from Colgate University. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Chicago with an S.M. degree in 1920 and a Ph.D. in 1922, writing his thesis on nonassociative algebras under the direction of Leonard E. Dickson.
He then spent a year as instructor at Princeton 1922-23 and as assistant professor 1924-1925. In 1925 he came to Ohio State as assistant professor in 1925, was promoted to associate professor in 1929 and to professor in 1933. While at Ohio State MacDuffee was very active in the expansion and development of the graduate program of the department, directing six Ph.D. students during the period 1931-1936.
In 1935 MacDuffee accepted an appointment as professor at the University of Wisconsin, where he remained until his death. He served as chair of the department, 1951-56. Wisconsin endowed a university chair under his name.
MacDuffee was a prominent member of the American mathematical community. He wrote a number of influential research monographs in abstract algebra and numerous papers. He served on the Council of the American Mathematical Society, was editor of the Transactions of the A.M.S., and served as president of the Mathematical Association of America. He was a member of the National Research Council and served as section secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He directed 30 Ph.D. students, among them Herbert Ryser.
He married Mary Augusta Bean on Sept. 7, 1921 and had four children, Robert Colton, Fredric Dearborn, Mary Elizabeth, and Helen Sewirr.
He died in Madison, Wisconsin on Aug. 21, 1961.