Raised in Massachusetts, I graduated from Harvard College in 1882, second in a class of 189....and later got my Ph.D. there as well.
Supported by a traveling fellowship, I studied for two years at Leipzig under Felix Klein.
After serving as a lecture in the theory of functions at Harvard, I was a mathematics professor at the University of Michigan and Columbia University.
My research areas focused on prime numbers, number theory, and group theory....but I also was an active leader in the American Mathematical Society.
My biggest claim to fame: I supposedly received the only standing ovation ever given for a talk at a meeting of the AMS...when in 1903, I produced the two factors for the Mersenne number 267 -1, showing it was not prime!
In 1926, I announced a pending retirement from Columbia, but surgery for an infected tooth led to heart failure and death...revealing the odd information that I had been living estranged from my wife and family since 1908...and for two years had resided in a Bronx rooming house under the name of Edward Mitchell, claiming to be an "ordinary bookkeeper."
Frank Nelson Cole (1861-1926)