University of Michigan. Department of Mathematics.

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The Department of Mathematics dates back to 1841, when formal instruction began at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Mathematics and science was taught by the Rev. George P. Williams (1841-1875).* The curriculum during the early years covered algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytical geometry and calculus. In 1863 Williams became professor of physics, and Edward Olney (1863-1887) became professor of mathematics. Course offerings gradually expanded as the mathematics faculty increased to five by 1877. From 1888 on, the department expanded steadily. Notable additions included Alexander Ziwet (1888-1925) and Frank N. Cole (1888-1895). Cole was the first professor to teach mathematics who had earned a Ph.D. (his degree was from Harvard University.) Both Cole and Ziwet were actively involved in the early years of the American Mathematical Society, and worked to form a student mathematical society at the university.

Around the turn of the century several influential members joined the faculty and course offerings were greatly expanded. James W. Glover (1895-1937) offered the first courses in actuarial mathematics, Walter B. Ford (1900-1940) taught asymptotic series and summability theory, and Louis C. Karpinski (1904-1948) taught the history of mathematics. Theophil H. Hildebrandt (1909-1957) also began his lengthy affiliation with the department. He would later serve as chairman for twenty-three years (1937-1957), and did important research in functional analysis and integration theory.

In the 1920s, the curriculum expanded through the introduction of courses in applied mathematics, vector analysis, hydronamics, infinite series and graphical methods. This growth was the result of an aggressive effort to bring new talent to Michigan. Among the new mathematicians were George Y. Rainich (1926-1956) in relativity, Raymond L. Wilder (1926-1968) in topology, and Arthur H. Copeland (1929-1968) in probability. These appointments of the 1920s propelled the department through the war years and into the post-war era. The first Ph.D. was granted in 1911; by 1941 a total of ninety doctoral degrees had been granted.

During the Second World War research and war manpower demands affected the department in many ways. The decline in mathematics enrollment in undergraduate programs was offset by the fact that many of the military training programs established on the campus had a mathematical component. These programs included the Air Force

Meteorology Program and the Navy's V-12 Program. The increased staff demands were met by bringing in teachers from other departments as well as by using faculty wives with mathematics backgrounds to teach courses. Immediately after the war, enrollment rose considerably.

Throughout the postwar years, the mathematics curriculum expanded to reflect the increasing use of the discipline in engineering, the sciences (especially the social sciences), and computing. In addition, general concern over the quality of teaching mathematics in grades K-12 led to more offerings on the teaching of mathematics, and included special summer institutes and in-service programs for teachers.

Important organizational changes in the postwar years revolved around the departmental chairmanship. Prior to 1957, the chairmen had received life-time appointments; since 1957, chairmen have been appointed for fixed terms which have not exceeded five years. In 1968 an associate chairman position was established; since 1973 there have been two associate chairmen. In 1967, the department wrote a new constitution to govern its affairs, with increased powers, including appointments to tenured positions, vested in the faculty.

* Dates in parentheses indicate the years during which the professor taught at the University of Michigan.

From the guide to the Dept. of Mathematics (University of Michigan) records, 1913-1981, 1935-1981, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Lewis, Donald J. (Donald John), d1926-. Donald J. Lewis papers, 1961-2007. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Kaplan, Wilfred, 1915-. Wilfred Kaplan papers, 1958-2000. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Lovell, Vincent Smith, 1846-1892. Vincent S. Lovell papers, 1867-1873. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Rainich, G. Y. (George Yuri), b. 1886. Rainich, George Yuri, Papers, 1941-1981. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Hickey, George S., 1840-1928. George S. Hickey student notebook, 1865-1866. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Andrews, C. L. (Charles Lincoln), 1864-1946. C.L. Andrews papers, 1884-1886 and 1936. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Wilfred Kaplan papers, 1936-2002 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Beman, Wooster Woodruff, 1850-1922. Wooster Woodruff Beman papers, 1865-1938. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Mathematical Society (University of Michigan). Mathematical Society (University of Michigan) record book, 1890-1892. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Wilder, Raymond Louis, 1896-1982. Wilder, Raymond Louis, papers, 1914-1982. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Theophil Henry Hildebrandt Papers, 1887-1978, 1930-1960 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Allmendinger, George Franklin, 1855-1926. George Franklin Allmendinger student notebook, ca. 1876. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Turner, Scott, 1880-1972. Scott Turner student notebooks, 1900-1902 and 1904. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Louis Charles Karpinski papers, 1838-1889 and 1901-1955 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Rainich, G. Y. (George Yuri), b. 1886. Papers of George Yuri Rainich, 1941-1981. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Donald J. Lewis papers, 1961-2007, 1970-1995 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf University of Michigan. Dept. of Mathematics. Dept. of Mathematics (University of Michigan) records, 1913-1981 (bulk 1935-1981). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn George Yuri Papers AR 86-24, 2000-142. OCLC: 19504145 ., 1925-1982 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Dept. of Mathematics (University of Michigan) records, 1913-1981, 1935-1981 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Mathematics Club (University of Michigan). Mathematics Club (University of Michigan) record book, 1890-1892 and 1962-1991. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Hildebrandt, T. H. (Theophil Henry), 1888-1980. T.H. Hildebrandt papers, 1887-1978. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Goddard, Edwin C. (Edwin Charles), 1865-1942. Edwin C. Goddard papers, [ca. 1884]-[ca. 1940]. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Stevenson, Francis Leslie, 1866-1965. Francis Leslie Stevenson student notebooks, 1886-1890. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Karpinski, Louis Charles, 1878-1956. Louis Charles Karpinski papers, 1901-1955. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Hopkins, Louis Allen. Louis A. Hopkins papers, 1906-1942. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Edwin C. Goddard papers, [ca. 1884]-[ca. 1940] Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Wooster Woodruff Beman papers, 1865-1938, 1878-1922 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allmendinger, George Franklin, 1855-1926. person
associatedWith Andrews, C. L. (Charles Lincoln), 1864-1946. person
associatedWith Beman, Wooster Woodruff, 1850-1922. person
associatedWith Goddard, Edwin C. (Edwin Charles), 1865-1942. person
associatedWith Hickey, George S., 1840-1928. person
associatedWith Hildebrandt, Theophil Henry, 1888- person
associatedWith Hildebrandt, T. H. (Theophil Henry), 1888-1980. person
associatedWith Hopkins, Louis Allen. person
associatedWith Ishango Society of Mathematics (University of Michigan) corporateBody
associatedWith Kaplan, Wilfred corporateBody
associatedWith Kaplan, Wilfred, 1915- person
associatedWith Karpinski, Louis Charles, 1878-1956. person
associatedWith Lewis, Donald J. (Donald John), 1926- corporateBody
associatedWith Lewis, Donald J. (Donald John), d1926- person
associatedWith Lovell, Vincent Smith, 1846-1892. person
associatedWith Mathematical Society (University of Michigan) corporateBody
associatedWith Mathematics Club (University of Michigan) corporateBody
associatedWith Rainich, G. Y. (George Yuri), b. 1886 person
associatedWith Stevenson, Francis Leslie, 1866-1965. person
associatedWith Turner, Scott, 1880-1972. person
associatedWith Undergraduate Math Club (University of Michigan) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan Faculty. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan Students. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan Students Societies, etc. corporateBody
associatedWith Wilder, Raymond Louis, 1896-1982. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Mathematics
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1913

Active 1981

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