mathgenealogy: Discover your (academic) ancestors!

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A command line program for extracting data from the Mathematics Genealogy Project ( Note that this database also contains many entries of computer scientists.

Lookup your entry at and then use that URL as a command line argument. For example, if Carl Gauss wanted to explore his academic ancestors, he would type


which produces the directed acyclic graph See

mathgenealogy --help

for the complete list of options. Requires the dot program, which is part of the GraphViz package (version 2.28.0 or later!) to run.

Note: Due to some inconsistencies in the character encodings used on mathgenealogy, you might need to correct entries that use special characters.

Feedback and bug reports are appreciated!

Changes in 1.4.0:

  • Updated to handle changes in page layout.

Changes in 1.3.0:

  • Switched to HTML-like labels in GraphViz. This is required for the advanced font formatting options. ATTENTION: this needs a recent installation of GraphViz (Linux: 2.28.0; MacOS: 2.29) and will yield best results for SVG output files. If you have an older version of GraphViz or run into issues, try the '--oldtextlabels' option.

  • Downloaded entries are stored locally. This avoids re-downloading the same data if you want to generate multiple graphs of the same entry with different formatting options.

  • Added more options for fine-tuning the fonts and colors. (requested by users)

  • Default output is now SVG, as this is the format best supported by GraphViz.

Changes in 1.2.0:

  • Fixed handling of entries that have multiple degrees. (reported by Dima Pasechnik)

Changes in 1.1.1:

  • Provide error message when given invalid start URL

  • Documentation and code cleanup

Changes in 1.0.0:

  • Choice between PDF and PNG output

  • Optional inclusion of PhD theses in output

Changes in 0.0.2:

  • Fixed handling of trailing commas (reported by Alexander Koessler)


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Versions [RSS] 0.0.1, 0.0.2, 1.0.0, 1.1.0, 1.1.1, 1.2.0, 1.3.0, 1.4.0
Dependencies base (>=4 && <5), binary (>=0.6.4), bytestring (>=0.9), cmdargs (>=0.9.5), containers (>=0.4), directory (>=1.2), fgl (>=5.4), filepath (>=1.3.0), graphviz (>=2999.12), HTTP (>=4000.1.2), process (>=1.1), safe (>=0.3.3), tagsoup (>=0.12.6), text (>=0.11) [details]
License GPL-2.0-only
Copyright (C) 2010-2015 Peter Robinson
Author Peter Robinson
Maintainer Peter Robinson <>
Category Web
Uploaded by PeterRobinson at 2015-11-22T17:15:15Z
Distributions NixOS:1.4.0
Reverse Dependencies 1 direct, 0 indirect [details]
Executables mathgenealogy
Downloads 6130 total (19 in the last 30 days)
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Status Docs not available [build log]
Last success reported on 2016-11-30 [all 5 reports]