Frank Nelson Cole

Mathematician, Academic

1861 – 1926

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Who was Frank Nelson Cole?

Frank Nelson Cole, Ph.D. was an American mathematician, born in Ashland, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard, where he lectured on mathematics from 1885 to 1887.

Later, he was employed at the University of Michigan and Columbia University. Professor Cole became secretary of the American Mathematical Society in 1895 and an editor of its Bulletin in 1897.

Cole published a number of important papers, including The Diurnal Variation of Barometric Pressure.

In 1903 Cole famously made a presentation to a meeting of the American Mathematical Society where he identified the factors of the Mersenne number 2⁶⁷ − 1, or M₆₇. Édouard Lucas had demonstrated in 1876 that M₆₇ must have factors, but he was unable to determine what those factors were. During Cole's so-called "lecture", he approached the chalkboard and in complete silence proceeded to calculate the value of M₆₇, with the result being 147,573,952,589,676,412,927. Cole then moved to the other side of the board and wrote 193,707,721 × 761,838,257,287, and worked through the tedious calculations by hand.

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Born
Sep 20, 1861
Ashland
Also known as
  • Коул, Фрэнк Нельсон
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Harvard University
Employment
  • University of Michigan
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
Lived in
  • New York City
Died
May 26, 1926
New York City

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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