# Underwood Dudley

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwood_Dudley*

**Underwood Dudley** (born January 6, 1937) is a
mathematician, formerly of
DePauw University, who has written a number of research works and textbooks but is best known for his popular writing. Most notable are several books describing
crank mathematics by people who think they have
squared the circle or done other impossible things.
These books, which alternate between appreciation and exasperation, include *The Trisectors* (MAA 1996,
ISBN
0-88385-514-3), *
Mathematical Cranks* (MAA 1992,
ISBN
0-88385-507-0), and *Numerology: Or, What Pythagoras Wrought* (MAA 1997,
ISBN
0-88385-524-0). They helped him win the
Trevor Evans Award for expository writing from the
Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in 1996.

Dudley has also written and edited straightforward mathematical works such as *Readings for Calculus* (MAA 1993,
ISBN
0-88385-087-7) and *Elementary Number Theory* (W.H. Freeman 1978,
ISBN
0-7167-0076-X). He is the discoverer of the
Dudley triangle.

Dudley is a native of
New York City. He received
bachelor's and
master's degrees from the
Carnegie Institute of Technology and a
Ph.D. from the
University of Michigan. His academic career consisted of two years at
Ohio State University followed by thirty-seven at DePauw University, from which he retired in 2004. He has edited the *
College Mathematics Journal* and the *Pi Mu Epsilon Journal*, and was a Pólya Lecturer for the MAA for two years.

## Lawsuit

In 1995, Dudley was one of several people sued by William Dilworth for
defamation because *Mathematical Cranks* included an analysis of Dilworth's "A correction in set theory",^{
[1]} an attempted refutation of
Cantor's diagonal method. The suit was dismissed in 1996 due to failure to state a claim.

The dismissal was upheld on appeal in a decision written by
Richard Posner. From the decision: "A
crank is a person inexplicably obsessed by an obviously unsound idea—a person with a bee in his bonnet. To call a person a crank is to say that because of some quirk of temperament he is wasting his time pursuing a line of thought that is plainly without merit or promise ... To call a person a crank is basically just a colorful and insulting way of expressing disagreement with his master idea, and it therefore belongs to the language of controversy rather than to the language of defamation."^{
[2]}

## See also

## References

**^**Dilworth, William (1974), "A correction in Set Theory" (PDF),*Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters*,**62**: 205–216, retrieved June 16, 2016**^**Caselaw: United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, ruling on Dillworth vs. Dudley, 1996

## External links

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