Department of Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
About Abram Rogers Bullis
text below is based on
and various Cornell archives)
Rogers Bullis was born on September 4 1854 in Farmington, New
York, the son of Abram Rogers Bullis and Lydia Porter Lapham. He was
one of seven siblings. His
father was a medical doctor who had studied at Geneva Medical College
and practised in Macedon and Farmington (east of Rochester). His
mother, Lydia, died when he was eight years old and the young Abram
went to live with his Grandfather Charles Bullis in Macedon.
After attending Macedon Academy 1868-1869,
Abram taught in neighboring schools including at Macedon Union
He enrolled at Cornell in 1877 and
graduated in 1881 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor Thesis titled "Solution of a Problem in
Probability". In 1882, he earned a Bachelor in Civil Engineering.
After leaving Cornell, Abram returned to Macedon where he spend
most of his life working as a surveyor in Wayne County, New York.
He married Josephine Breese in 1884 and they had two children, Charles
Rogers Bullis (born 1891) and Jeannette Aurelia Bullis (1893). Abram R. Bullis died on January 20
The New York Mathematical Society was established in 1888. It changed
its name and became the American Mathematical Society in 1894. It had
members at the end on 1890. Abram R. Bullis joined the society in June
1891 and remained a member for 26 years. During his time at
Cornell and after returning in Macedon, Abram R. Bullis was a regular
contributor of solutions to mathematical problems published in the
Mathematical Visitor (1879-1894) and the Mathematical magazine
(1882-1884), two periodicals published by Artemas Martin. His
extraordinary book collection is preserved as part of the "Bullis
in Macedon Public Library.
Interest in life long education and the pursuit of scholarship was
generation to generation in the Bullis familly. His
daughter, Jeannette (Nettie) Bullis, graduated from Macedon High
School in 1911 and delivered
a valecditory address titled "Life Like Every Other Blessing Derives
Its Value From Its Use." She attended Cornell in 1918, taught in
Marion, New York, and became a book keeper for Gleason Works before
advancing to the position of Corporate Secretary and Private Assistant
to the company President, James Gleason. She died in 1979. Her
still support a number of post-secondary scholarships for
school districts around Macedon.
Abram R. Bullis Chair in the Department of Mathematics was
created in 1989 through Nettie Bullis's will and with the support of the
trustees of her estate. It has been held by Eugene Dynkin (1989--2010)
and by John Guckenheimer (2010-2016).