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Beginnings of the Department

by Colonel David Arney

The actual teaching of mathematics at West Point dates from even before the Academy was established. In 1801, George Baron taught a few Cadets of Artillery and Engineers some of the fundamentals and applications of algebra. The Academy at West Point was instituted by act of Congress and signed into law by President Thomas Jefferson on 16 March 1802. The first acting Professors of Mathematics were Captains Jared Mansfield and William Barron. They taught the first few cadets algebra, geometry, and surveying.