Lillian Lieber

Books by the Liebers from Paul Dry Books

About Lillian Lieber

Lillian Lieber.

Lillian Lieber was head of the Department of Mathematics at Long Island University. She wrote a series of lighthearted (and well-respected) math books in the 1940s, including The Education of T. C. MITS and Infinity.

From Professor Robert Jantzen's webpage dedicated to the Liebers:

"This husband and wife team of a mathematician (Lillian) and illustrator (Hugh) influenced many generations of mathematically inclined readers, who stumbled on one of the Lieber books in their youth and were intrigued by their style of explaining complicated mathematics in simple language. Three of the most popular were The Einstein Theory of Relativity (1936 and later editions), Infinity (1953) and The Education of T C Mits (The Celebrated Man In The Street) (1942 and later editions).

"In my case I found her book explaining general relativity in the public library of the small village in rural New York State where I grew up when I was in 9th grade (?) in the mid sixties and was fascinated by the concepts that were still beyond my abilities to comprehend. Eventually I found my way into theoretical physics and general relativity as a profession. I still remember how impressed I was by 'tensors' and thought I would really be accomplished when I understood them. More recently my friend David [Derbes] sent me a copy of The Education of TC Mits which I happily read and was pleasantly surprised at the timeless message it contains about relying on reasoning to understand how the world works, politically as well.

"Lillian (1886-1986) and two of her illustrious brothers (chemist Martin Andre Rosanoff and psychiatrist Aaron Joshua Rosanoff, California's director of institutions, 1939-1942) were among the four children of Clara and Abraham Rosenberg. Lillian headed the math department at Long Island University and the Galois Institute of Mathematics and Art in Brooklyn, N.Y., retiring in the 1950s and outliving all who might have known about her [not true, there was at least a niece who carried on the family line as the daughter of another brother Joseph]. She died in obscurity at 99. Today in 2003 there is no trace of the Galois Institute on the web other than as the publisher of some math/science books in the first half of the twentieth century (Galois Institute Press), and there are few known archival materials anywhere on Lillian. Her university does not seem to acknowledge her part in their history.

"The last lines of Lillian's preface to the collected works of her chemist brother Martin Andre Rosanoff published by her Galois Institute reveal a bit of the strong emotions that must have fueled her mission of encouraging ordinary people to think more rationally about the world."

About Hugh Gray Lieber

Hugh Gray Lieber.

Hugh Gray Lieber was head of the Department of Fine Arts at Long Island University. He illustrated many books written by his wife Lillian.