March 7, 2018 – “Math History with Dr. Eves”

Hello, everyone!

Hopefully the weekend was enjoyable as it was for me, but it is time to return to the task at hand. There was a bit of a clean-up procedure done with the Arthur S. Barclay Collection, research for developing the biography for the Howard Eves Audio Collection’s eventual finding aid, and then beginning the real work of listening to the content on the digitized audio CDs. But, just when I feel like I am finished with a collection something comes up and I return to put some edits in.

After logging in, I reminded Mr. Ogreten of the email he had sent regarding the extent content in the folders of the Arthur S. Barclay Collection. In other words, I needed to record how many items (photographs, film negatives, and slides) were in each folder. So, after finding a notepad and a pencil, I sifted through the collection to give an accurate count of the materials in the folders. The process took no longer than ten minutes and I reported the numbers to Mr. Ogreten, who added them to the finding aid. With that accomplished, I was done with the collection. Just as promised, here are the links to the finding aid: the abstract ( and the detailed description ( versions.

With the Arthur S. Barclay Collection finally done, I turned my attention to doing more research for the Howard Eves Audio Collection. Finding information about Dr. Eves was not very hard. The Mathematical Association of America (an organization Dr. Eves joined in 1942 and was a spokesman for many years) had a great source in the history of the Northeast Section, which Dr. Eves helped found in 1955 ( Likewise, Dr. Eves had written his autobiography in 2001, titled Mathematical Reminiscences, which could be used as a source if needed. Dr. Brumbaugh, on the other hand, was much harder to find information for. I was able to fill in a few blanks from the “About the Authors” sections of some of the publications he contributed to (For example, he graduated Adrian College with a Bachelors in Science degree, then graduated from the University of Georgia with a master’s degree and later his doctorate in mathematics), but I was told by Mr. Ogreten that information about Dr. Brumbaugh would be more appropriate in the Scope and Content section as the collection centered more with Dr. Eves.

Satisfied with the research done so far, I turned my attention to the real work: listening to the digitized CDs of the audio collection and taking notes of the content on them. There are twenty-eight CDs, so the next posts will be focused on the collection for some time. The first CD seemed to be a class lecture on the history of mathematics. Aside from geometry, the subject was one that interested Dr. Eves.

In the audio, Dr. Eves explored the theories of where mathematics came from: humanity (of course), animals (used birds and insects in particular), plants (flower petals from daisies were explored), and how the movement of planetary bodies could be considered as candidates. Other topics included Plato, Pythagoras, and the contributions of Charles Hermite. If the rest of the recordings are similar, then it seems I am taking Dr. Eves’ History of Mathematics course for free (no credit hours, though). Unfortunately, the audio was not clear and did cut out at times (made sure to make note of those). When the CD was finished, it was time for me to leave.

So, it is time to bid farewell once more. Next week is Spring Break, so there will not be a post as a result. The following week will resume normal operations, so expect more notes on lectures by Dr. Eves (hopefully, more than that) in the future. Until then, enjoy the weekend and Spring Break (for all the students and teachers)! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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