Edward Switzer Allen

Edward Switzer Allen was born in Kansas City on December 12, 1887. He received an A.B. (1909), A.M. (1910) and a Ph. D (1914) from Harvard University in Geometry. He attended the University of Rome (1911-1913) in Italy under a Harvard fellowship and later, during the 1931-1932 academic school year, Dr. Allen spent time at the University of Berlin in Germany listening to the lectures of; Albert Einstein, E. Schrödinger and Richard von Mises.

Before coming to Iowa State University as an Associate Professor (1921), Dr. Allen served as an Instructor of Mathematics on the faculties at Dartmouth (1913), Brown University (1914), and the University of Michigan (1915-1919). Dr. Allen was also an Associate Professor at West Virginia University (1919-1921). During his tenure at Iowa State (College) University he was a Professor of Mathematics from 1943-1985 and was a visiting Professor at Grinnell College (1960-1962), at Cottey College (1964-1964) and at Wartburg College (1967-1969).

Dr. Allen's main area of research concerned algebraic geometry, applications of mathematics to chemistry, enumeration and probability.

Dr. Allen was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and served on the Iowa State University Art Committee. He was a member of American Association of University Professors, American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, The Circolo Matematico di Palermo in Italy, and a member of Deutsche MathematikerVereiningungg in Germany.

He was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a founder of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union (1935) where he served as president for several terms. A book titled "Freedom in Iowa" was written by Dr. Allen dealing with this organization in Iowa. He also wrote and translated many books about mathematics. Together with his wife Minne, Dr. Allen entertained numerous foreign students and faculty through an Iowa State club called the Cosmopolitan Club and worked diligently for civil liberties.

Edward Switzer Allen died May 8, 1985.

Minne Müller-Liebenwalde was born February 7, 1887 in Sondershausen, Germany. She earned a B.S. from Iowa State College. At Iowa State she taught Sociology and was promoted to Assistant Professor. She held this position until Iowa State passed a law forbidding members of the same family to be in their employ.

Minne Allen was a member of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Ames Friends Meeting, and United Church Women. Along with her husband she did a wide range of peace activist ambassadorships. Together Edward and Minne Allen had 2 sons named Julius and Herman. They also had a daughter named Rosemarie.

Minne died September 9, 1980.

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This is a historic exhibit and the information provided within it may be out of date. Please contact the Special Collections and University Archives Department with questions about Iowa State history (archives@iastate.edu).


Resources available online

American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa