Men and Institutions in American Mathematics

Men and Institutions in American Mathematics

Men and Institutions in American Mathematics

Men and Institutions in American Mathematics

Excerpt

This collection of papers represents the proceedings of the conference on the History of American Mathematics held at Texas Tech University on 28, 29, and 30 May 1973. This conference was the first in a series of six conferences to be held at various universities in the State of Texas under the general title: American Mathematical Heritage. The series has received partial support from the Texas College and University Bicentennial Program.

The second conference was the American Mathematical Heritage Symposium on the History of Statistics and Probability held at Southern Methodist University, 27, 28, and 29 May 1974; and the proceedings of this conference will be forthcoming. The third conference in Algebra was held at The University of Texas at El Paso in 1975. Other conferences in Topology, Complex Analysis and Applied Mathematics are planned for The University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, and The University of Texas at Arlington, respectively.

The three main articles presented at this conference were by Marshall Stone, Salomon Bochner, and Garrett Birkhoff. Illness prevented Professor Bochner from attending; his papers were read by Professor R. O. Wells, Jr.

The theme of the conference was appropriately the title of Professor Marshall Stone’s paper, “Men and Institutions in American Mathematics,” and for this reason, it appears as the title article.

With the exception of papers by Kenneth May and Robert Thrall, these proceedings contain the papers presented at the conference. Some are faithful copies, others have been shortened to achieve spatial and conceptual balance. Robert Thrall’s paper has appeared elsewhere, and Kenneth May’s paper is, unfortunately, unobtainable. Bochner’s paper appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly in a more complete version.

This conference was funded by Texas Tech University, and the proceedings were audiotaped and are reposited in the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection.

We gratefully acknowledge permission to use in the essay Mathematical Americana material from the article “Continuity and Discontinuity in Nature and Knowledge,” Dictionary of the History of Ideas, copyright 1973 by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

J. Dalton Tarwater John T. White John D. Miller . . .

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