alexa Danish Mathematical Society

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Danish Mathematical Society

The Danish Mathematical Society was established in 1873. It was not set up as the 'Danish Mathematical Society' but somewhat as the 'Mathematical Society'. The initiative for the creation of the Society came from Thiele and the first Board set up to run the Society comprised of Thiele, Zeuthen and Petersen. Now the Society was associated entirely with the University of Copenhagen. All of the three Board members were professors at the University of Copenhagen at the time the Society was created: Zeuthen had designate as an extraordinary professor of mathematics in 1871; Petersen held the chair of mathematics; and Thiele was professor in the field of astronomy. The Society arranged lectures but at first these were all given by members of the Society. It also set up a library of books and journals to help mathematical research in Denmark.  Mittag-Leffler was the first foreign speaker. The number of foreign speakers then grew and since 1921 an invitation was given every second year to a renowned mathematician to give a series of lectures. The first series was given in 1921 by Hilbert. The storm of World War II caused this lecture series to stop. On that year of 1921 the Society started thinking whether they should join the International Mathematical Union, but there was strong opponent at that time the Union was actively discriminating against mathematicians from countries on the losing side in World War I. Harald Bohr was one of the strongest opposition of the Society joining the Union because of its political stance and after heated argument, the Society decided that it would not join. There was a Danish mathematical journal, Matematisk Tidsskrift, which published before the Mathematical Society was founded. Matematisk Tidsskrift was founded in 1859 and Zeuthen became an editor in 1871. He maintained that role for 18 years. Shortly after he ended his editorial duties, the journal split into two portions in 1890. Series A is the published work on elementary mathematics, while series B published which was about advanced mathematical research. The Mathematical Society embraced the publication of these journals in 1919.

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