Henry Burchard Fine

American academic

Henry Burchard Fine (September 14, 1858 – December 22, 1928) was an American mathematician and dean at Princeton University.

Henry Burchard Fine


  • The opinion is widely prevalent that even if the subjects are totally forgotten, a valuable mental discipline is acquired by the efforts made to master them. While the Conference admits that, considered in itself this discipline has a certain value, it feels that such a discipline is greatly inferior to that which may be gained by a different class of exercises, and bears the same relation to a really improving discipline that lifting exercises in an ill-ventilated room bear to games in the open air. The movements of a race horse afford a better model of improving exercise than those of the ox in a tread-mill.
    • Simon Newcomb, Henry Burchard Fine, Florian Cajori et al. Report of the Committee [of Ten on Secondary School Studies Appointed at the Meeting of the National Educational Association July 9, 1892: With the Reports of the Conferences Arranged by this Committee and Held December 28-30, 1892]. p. 108: On math education

The Number-System of Algebra, (1890)Edit

Henry Burchard Fine. Number-system of Algebra, (Boston and New York, 1890),

  • Judged by the only standards which are admissible in a pure doctrine of numbers i is imaginary in the same sense as the negative, the fraction, and the irrational, but in no other sense; all are alike mere symbols devised for the sake of representing the results of operations even when these results are not numbers (positive integers).
    • p. 86; Reported in Moritz (1914, 282)

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