An academic genealogy

Some years ago I came across the [Mathematics Genealogy Project]( – the idea is to create a family tree, but based on your academic supervisor rather than your parents. At the time I couldn’t trace myself back very far, but looking again recently I found that I can now get back pretty far…

(One note – in several places there are two supervisors – I have put my thumb on the scale and chosen the more interesting path).

So, my supervisor (for honours at ANU) was supervised by:

[Andreu Mas-Colell]( – anyone who has studied graduate level Microeconomics has just curled into a ball in the floor thinking of their textbook for that course. He was supervised by:

[Marcel Richter]( Still in Economics at this point. He was supervised by:

[Edgar Cary Brown]( Another economist. He was supervised by:

[Alvin Hansen]( Who wrote about cycles of economic depression in 1918 – suspect he had an interesting 1930s. *looks at Wikipedia*. [Yep, he very much did]( The “American Keynes”. He was supervised by:

[Richard Ely]( Founder of the American Economic Association, and a significant early figure in the economics around inequality and the excesses of capitalism. He studied at the University of Heidelberg, where we was supervised by:

[Johann Kasper Blutschli]( A Swiss politician, lawyer and philosopher, part of the development of economics out of political philosophy. He was supervised by:

[Johann Hasse]( German professor of law. He was supervised by:

[Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut]( German jurist and musician, and (according to Wiki) an important influence on the code of laws of Germany when it was established. He was supervised by:

[Immanuel Kant]( One of the greatest philosophers of all time, it is nearly impossible to understate Kant’s influence on the world, both for good and for ill. The wikipedia page runs to 212 references. He was supervised by:

[Martin Knutzen]( Principally famous for being the teacher of Immanuel Kant. He was supervised by:

[Christian Wolff]( German philosopher, who developed the thinking of his supervisor:

[Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz]( Very nearly as important a figure to the history of ideas as Kant (179 references on Wiki). Probably today most famous for the [Priority Dispute](–Newton_calculus_controversy) with Newton over the development of calculus, but a towering figure across mathematics and philosophy. He developed much of the early thinking that led to computers. He was supervised by (in part):

[Christiaan Huygens]( ‘Only’ 139 references this time. Scientist philosopher, most famous for his work with clocks and telescopes. Discovered the rings of Saturn. He was supervised by:

[Frans van Schooten]( Dutch mathematician, painted by Rembrandt and helped to popularise Descartes’ mathematics. Has his [own theorem]( He was supervised by:

[Jacobus Golius]( Dutch mathematician and orientalist. Taught Descartes mathematics, and translated many texts from Arabic to Latin. He was supervised by:

[Willebrord Snellius]( Another Dutch mathematician. Has his [own law]( in optics. He was supervised by:

[Rudolph Snellius]( Willeborod’s father, a Dutch mathematician who also influenced Arminius in the development of his brand of protestantism. He was supervised by:

[Immanuel Tremellius]( An Italian Jew who converted to Christianity, and fled to England to avoid a war. While there, he studied under:

[Thomas Cranmer]( Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the English Reformation. Principal author of the Book of Common Prayer. Imprisoned for heresy, and ultimately burnt at the stake under Queen Mary. He received his Doctorate of Divinity from Cambridge (Jesus College) in 1526, but unfortunately records of who supervised are not available, and so the trail stops here.

(There is another chain, via a different supervisor of Rudolph Snellius, that traces its way into Persian universities in the 1200s).