Robert Moore

November 14, 1882 - October 4, 1974

Scientific Discipline: Mathematics
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1931)

Robert L. Moore was an important figure in the mathematical area of point set topology, the study of properties of structures defined on topological spaces. He published a collection of his papers in 1932 called Foundations of Point Set Topology. This book enlightened the mathematical community on the nature of planes and structures that were not exclusively manifolds. He is also known for his distinct method of teaching university math, called the “Moore Method.” In this teaching style, he allowed his students to do most of the intellectual exploration on their own. He would have his students prove their own theorems, letting them take an active role in their learning.

Moore graduated from the University of Texas, earning his BS degree in 1901. He earned his PhD in 1905 for his dissertation, Sets of Metrical Hypotheses for Geometry. He held a number of teaching jobs throughout his career. He taught at the University of Tennessee from 1905 to 1906, Princeton from 1906 to 1908, Northwestern University from 1908 to 1911, and the University of Pennsylvania from 1911 to 1920. Moore was the associate editor of Transactions of the American Mathematical Society from 1914 to 1927. He also served as the president of the American Mathematical Society from 1936 to 1938. After he taught at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to the University of Texas, where he taught from 1920 until 1969.

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