Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Mathematics
Mathematics at Northwestern University has been taught since the University itself first offered classes. One of the University's three original faculty members appointed in 1854 was Henry S. Noyes, professor of mathematics. Noyes held major responsibility for mathematics instruction at Northwestern until 1871 when Julius F. Kellogg took over the department chairmanship. Kellogg held this position until his death in 1894. During the University's early years, the mathematics curriculum centered on algebra, plane and spherical trigonometry, the beginnings of analytical geometry and differential and integral calculus. Until the appointment of George Washington Hough in 1888 and, later, the completion of Dearborn Observatory, coursework in astronomy also had been offered through the department. In 1894, the first advanced courses designed primarily for graduate students were offered. Notable early faculty members include Eliakim Bastings Moore and Henry S. White, who served as department chairman from 1894 to 1905.
Later departmental heads include: David R. Curtiss (1905-1935), E.J. Moulton (1935-1943), H.T. Davis (1948-1955), and Ralph P. Boas, Jr. (1955-1972). Boas, a noted researcher in mathematical functions and analysis, served as executive editor of Mathematical Reviews for a number of years and was as well editor of the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. During his tenure the department participated in a general expansion of academic research in mathematics. In 1955 there were fourteen members of Northwestern's mathematics faculty, by 1972 this number had grown to more than forty.
In 1972 the departmental chairmanship became a rotating position with a term of three years. Since 1972, there have been five chairmen, Mark Mahowald (1972-1975), Daniel Zelinsky (1975-1978), Meyer Dwass (1978-1981), Donald G. Saari (1981-1984), and R. Clark Robinson (1984-1987).
Furthern information regarding the department's history may be found in: Thomas F. Holgate, A History of the Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University, 1955-1905 (1941).
Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:
Helen M. Clark (1908-1974) Papers
The papers of Helen M. Clark (professor of mathematics at Northwestern University) fill four boxes including one half-size box, and date between 1958 and 1972. The papers are divided into: a biographical file, correspondence, and teaching files.
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics Departmental Files
Harold T. Davis (1892-1974) Papers
Harold T. Davis was appointed professor of mathematics at Northwestern University in 1937; he became Chairman of the Department in 1940, and retired in 1955. His papers fill three archival boxes and span the period between 1924 and 1974. They consist of three folders of biographical material, five folders of articles by Davis, three bound volumes of mathematical papers by Davis and six bound volumes of tables of higher mathematical functions compiled by Davis.
Department of Mathematics Personnel Files
The Mathematics Department personnel files include correspondence, a few reprints, and brief biographical data on teaching assistants, prospective teaching assistants, and a few faculty members. The bulk of the files span from the mid 1950's to the mid 1960's, although a few date from as early as the 1920's. The amount of material in each person's folder varies widely.