Ulysses S. Grant Could Have Been a Mathematician

I have a Gary Larson cartoon cut from a newspaper on my door.  It reads, “Unbeknownst to most historians, Einstein started down the road to professional basketball before an ankle injury diverted him into science” and has a dynamic image of Albert driving toward the basket.  Here is a caption for another cartoon, “Unbeknownst to most historians, Ulysses S. Grant started down the road to math professor before the Mexican War diverted him into the military profession.”  I am picturing General Grant seated on a white horse writing on a tall chalkboard.  Unlike the Larson quote this one is true.  Grant indeed had definite plans to teach math at West Point under a prominent American mathematician named Albert E. Church.  Here is the link to  the relevant paragraph in Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant.


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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