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Dr. Albert Einstein: Theoretical Physics, Relativity and the Photoelectric Effect, 1935

Princeton Days

After he completed his degree at the FIT, Einstein found work as an assistant professor and eventually as a full professor of theoretical physics. He preferred researching to teaching, and in 1914 he accepted a paid research position in Berlin, Germany, which was considered the "capital city" of physics at that point in time. In 1933 the rise of Nazi power in Germany prompted Einstein to resign from his position in Berlin and flee to the United States, where he took up residence at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, New Jersey and assumed a position on the faculty of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study.

Oswald Veblen, the first professor in the Institute for Advanced Study, helped select and relocate Einstein and other foreign mathematicians after Hitler's rise to power in Europe. Veblen was a leading geometer and served a term as president of the American Mathematical Society and of the International Congress of Mathematicians, held at Harvard. Though highly respected as a scholar, Veblen valued his relationships with his students and helped design common spaces in Princeton buildings in order to help encourage the formation of student-faculty relationships.

Oswald Veblen

This photograph was taken in 1936 in Oslo, Norway, where Professor Veblen was attending the International Congress of Mathematicians. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Archives of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA (34K)

Dr. McClenahan of The Franklin Institute had a relationship with Oswald Veblen, as is seen in the exchange of letters here. In the weeks leading up to Medal Day, McClenahan contacted Veblen, requesting that he send a list of Einstein's degrees and that he personally ensure Einstein's attendance at the Medal Day ceremony. You can read the letters sent between these two gentlemen by clicking on the thumbnails at right.