Academic Genealogy

The following is my academic genealogy (see the Mathematics Genealogy Project). I stopped tracking when I reached Werner Rolfinck (1599-1673), the first professor of chemistry at University of Jena, but available genealogy continued beyond that (check the neurotree website for more information).

  1. Li-San Wang (University of Texas at Austin, 2003).
  2. Tandy Jo Warnow (University of California at Berkeley, 1991)
  3. Eugene Leighton Lawler (Harvard, 1963)
    Combinatorist at UC Berkeley until his death in 1994; wrote this famous book.
  4. Anthony Gervin Oettinger (Harvard, 1954)
    Co-founder and Chairman of the Harvard Program on Information Resources Policy.
  5. Howard Hathaway Aiken (Harvard, 1939)
    Pioneer on computer development; invented Mark I.
  6. Emory Leon Chaffee (Harvard, 1911)
    Best known for his work on thermionic vacuum tubes; pioneered work on controlling weather, by dropping electrically charged grains of sand to break up clouds.
  7. Chaffee’s official advisor is George Washington Pierce (Harvard, 1900), although he also mentioned Harry Wheeler Morse* (University of Leipzig, 1901) (Fellow of AAAS. You can read his biography on JSTOR (need subscription)).

G.W. Pierce’s academic lineage:

  1. John Trowbridge (Harvard, 1873)
  2. Joseph Lovering (Harvard, 1833)
  3. Benjamin Peirce (Harvard, 1829)
  4. Nathaniel Bowditch (self-taught)
    Author of The New American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802, an encyclopedia of navigation and is still carried on board every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel.

Harry Morse’s academic lineage:

  1. Wilhelm Ostwald (University of Tartu, 1878)
    Won Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1909. One of the modern founders of the field of physical chemistry.
  2. Carl Schmidt (University of Giessen, 1844)
  3. Justus von Liebig (?) and Friedrich Wöhler

Justus von Liebig’s academic lineage:

  1. Karl Wilhelm Kastner (?, 1805)
  2. Johann Friedrich August Gottling (Langensalza, Degree in Aopthecary, 1775)
  3. Johann Christian Wiegleb (?)
  4. Ernst Gottfried Baldinger (MD, 1760)
  5. Ernst Anton Nicolai(1745, University of Jena) (bio)
  6. Friedrich Hoffman (1681, University of Jena) He was called ‘the second Hippocrates’ and the ‘Aesculapius Hallensis’ and was a well-regarded medical researcher of his time. (Another biography)
  7. Georg Wolfgang Wedel (Doctor of Medicine, 1669, University of Jena)
  8. Werner Rolfinck (1667, University of Jena)
  9. Daniel Sennert (1618, Leucorea Univesrity in Wittenberg) and Adriaan van den Spieghel (1625, University of Padua)


*Note regarding Edward Leon Chaffee’s advisor
I took many information sources from the web to trace back my academic ancestors. Of course, there is less information for more distant academic ancestors and their advisors. When I started this “research” years ago, I could only trace back to “Harry Moss”, an unknown professor who was the Ph.D. advisor of Chaffee. It turns out there are many academic offsprings from Dr. Chaffee and some of them built similar web sites, and they all wrote “Harry Moss” with little information. I tried searching for Harry Moss on the Harvard website but could not even find this person. But I wasn’t expecting much — after all the information would be more than a hundred years old.

Google search led to this web page, an oral history record interviewing Dr. Chaffee by Frederick V. Hunt in 1964, and was on the American Institute of Physics website. I cannot quote it without permission, but you can go there and search for Moss.

There are of course other ways to dig deeper. Chaffee received his Ph.D. at Harvard in 2011 in the Physics department, so there should be some kind of historical record at Harvard University. I found this information on page 799-800 in the Harvard University Catalog, 1908-09:

You can find the document on Harvard’s website (link).

So there you go, it was thanks to a typo in the Chaffee interview transcript, but Edward Leon Chaffee’s advisor was Henry Wheeler Morse, a physical chemist at Harvard University. With this information I could further trace my academic genealogy to at least another 300 years. -Li-San Wang, October 14, 2012