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Archives of American Mathematics Spotlight: An MAA Photographic Mystery

Archives of American Mathematics Spotlight: An MAA Photographic Mystery

By Kristy Sorensen

Do you know this mathematician?

Last year the Archives of American Mathematics received a valuable collection of historical documents from the Mathematical Association of America Headquarters (see the January 2005 issue of FOCUS for more details). Included in the materials are a group of photographs from what appears to be a production for the Mathematics Today film series in the 1960s. This series was developed by the Individual Lectures Project and the Committee on Educational Media in order to provide visual learning aids appropriate for those with a casual interest in mathematics, college mathematics students, and professional mathematicians. Twenty-four 16mm films were produced altogether, in both color and black and white, and they were available for purchase or rent from the Modern Learning Aids distribution company. One of these photos is on the cover of this issue of FOCUS, and another is on this page.

Our problem? We aren?t able to identify the subjects in these fascinating shots. If you can help, get in contact with Kristy Sorensen, the archivist, at [email protected]. Perhaps with the help of the readers of FOCUS we can find out more about the story of this project and what became of it. We will report on the answers we get in a future issue.

The Mathematical Association of America Records inventory can be found online at:

The Archives of American Mathematics is located at the Research and Collections division of the Center for American History on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Persons interested in conducting research or donating materials or who have general questions about the Archives of American Math-ematics should contact Kristy Sorensen, Archivist, [email protected], (512) 495-4539. Feel free to visit us on the web at: