University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the William T. Reid Papers, 1925-1977

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Reid, William T. (William Thomas), 1907, Oct. 4-1977
Title: William T. Reid Papers
Dates: 1925-1977
Abstract: William T. Reid was professor of mathematics at Northwestern University (1944-1959), University of Iowa (1959-1964), and University of Oklahoma (1964-1976). He was a visiting scientist at the University of Texas at Austin when he died on October 14, 1977. His papers (1925-1977) document his career from his undergraduate studies (1925) to the year of his death.
Extent: 30 ft.
Language: Collection material is written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note:

William Thomas Reid was born October 4, 1907, near Grand Saline, Texas, and attended college at Simmons (now Hardin-Simmons) University in Abilene, Texas. His M.A. and Ph.D. (1929) were obtained at the University of Texas at Austin. He was National Research Fellow (1929-1931) and then a faculty member (1931-1944) at the University of Chicago. Reid was professor of mathematics at Northwestern University (1944-1959), University of Iowa (1959-1964), and University of Oklahoma (1964-1976). He was a visiting scientist at the University of Texas at Austin when he died on October 14, 1977.

Reid's research concerned differential equations, calculus of variations, and optimal control. He devoted particular attention to the relations between the theory of differential equations and extremum principles. During World War II he served as consultant in mathematics to the Army Air Corps and served in the Pre-Meteorology program. He was chairman of the subcommittee on examinations of the War Policy Committee of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

Background to Reid's World War II work may be found in Henry C. Herge. 1948. Wartime College Training Programs of the Armed Services. Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education, 214 pp.

Source: "Biographical Record of William Thomas Reid," William T. Reid Papers, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Scope and Contents:

Professor Reid's papers (1925-1977) document his career from his undergraduate studies (1925) to the year of his death. There is a series of his graduate seminars at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the Universities of Iowa and Oklahoma (1931-1976). The series of conferences and symposia include material related to presentations by Reid together with notes by Reid on presentations by others. In some cases Reid filed notes on conferences and symposia attended with the graduate seminars. There is documentation of Reid's work with mathematics education during World War II (1940-1946). The papers also contain a substantial quantity of largely unorganized notes concerning Reid's research. Some of this material has been labeled by Reid's student, C. Ahlbrandt. Reid's reprint collection contains summaries written by Reid for Mathematical Reviews and the Zentralblatt für Mathematik. The collection also includes a small number of books from Reid’s personal library. Some of the papers of Ernst Hellinger, mainly consisting of seminars given both before and after his arrival in the United States, are included (1915-1949). More of Hellinger's papers are in the Dehn (Max) Papers. Correspondents include G. A. Bliss, R. Courant, Dunham Jackson, R. L. Moore, Marston Morse, and A. C. Zaanen.



Organized into the following series:
General correspondence
Conferences and symposia
Military work (World War II)
Faculty and administrative
Mathematicians - Biographical and memorial items
Ernst D. Hellinger
Subject files and notes
Materials sent to Reid
Mimeographed lecture notes (not by Reid)
Letters of reference / review for promotion
Referee work and comments
Reprints of Reid's articles
Theses of Reid's students and associates
Reid's reprint collection
Reid's library


Access Restrictions

Access to student records is restricted until 80 years after the date of creation. All other material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The bulk of these papers are stored remotely at CDL. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval. Photographs are stored on-site.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Bliss, Gilber Ames, 1876-1951
Bolza, O. (Oskar), 1957-1942
Courant, Richard, 1888-1972
Ewing, George M. (George McNaught), 1907-
Hellinger, Ernst D.
Reid, William T. (William Thomas), 1907 Oct. 4-1977
Scott, Walker T.
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Chicago. Dept. of Mathematics.
University of Iowa. Dept. of Mathematics.
University of Oklahoma. Dept. of Mathematics.
University of Texas at Austin. Dept. of Mathematics
Northwestern University. Dept. of Mathematics.
Differential equations
Calculus of variations

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William T. Reid Papers, 1925-1977, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers


General correspondence, 1931-1977

86-25/1 A - B
C - M
N - Z, Unidentified
2014-117/1 Additional correspondence, 1969-72



86-25/1 Ordinary Differential Equations
86-25/2 Reviews, correspondence
Riccati Differential Equations - correspondence; Manuscript fragments
Sturmian Theory (material for unpublished book)
2005-143/25 Topics in Linear Algebra for Applications, unpublished manuscript, [bound and donated by Charles D. Robinson], undated



86-25/2 Correspondence, 1967-1970
Correspondence and manuscripts, 1974-1976, and undated
A critique of oscillation of differential systems; Oscillation theory in abstract spaces
Manuscripts and working files
Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt
86-25/3 The minimum of a certain definite integral… and related later work (1954),
Oskar Bolza
Sufficient conditions by expansion methods for the problem of Bolza in the calculus of variations
Tauberian theorem for power series, with correspondence with Paul Erdös, Konrad Knopp, and Helmut Wielandt
William M. Whyburn, 1901-1972



86-25/3 Dittoed lecture and seminar notes
Lecture notes
University of Puerto Rico, 1945-1946
2014-117/1 Introduction to Functions of a Complex Variable, University of Puerto Rico, 1945-46


Conferences and symposia

86-25/4 1963-1977
University of Oklahoma Conference on Optimal Control and Differential Equations, March 23-26, 1977



86-25/4 Correspondence, reports, financial statements, 1956-1975
Correspondence, proposals, reports, financial records, 1961-1966
86-25/5 Correspondence, proposals, reports, 1964-1977
Correspondence, 1967-1976
Correspondence, proposals, reports, 1968-1976



86-25/5 University of Chicago lecture notes, 1933-1937, and undated
Northwestern University course notes
86-25/6 Course notes
Functional analysis
2014-117/3 Boundary Problems
86-25/6 Mimeographed lecture notes
Infinite Series and Definite Integrals, 1934, revised 1939
Infinite Series and Definite Integrals, (with inclusions), 1943
Introduction to the Theory of Functions, 1941
86-25/7 Introduction to the Theory of Functions, 1944
Introduction to the Theory of the Lebesgue Integral, 1950
Topology, Calculus of Variations
2014-117/3 Introduction to Expansion Methods in the Calculus of Variations, undated
Introduction to Laplace Transforms, undated
Moment Problems, undated
Blue book, 1942
86-25/7 Largely calculus of variations, 1948-1970, and undated
1954-1974, and undated
1961-1970; Advanced calculus, 1947-1975
Complex Variables; Elementary Differential Equations; Real Variables
86-25/8 Masters and doctoral
2014-117/2 RESTRICTED: Doctoral, 1972 and undated
Doctoral Students
RESTRICTED: Student files, 1966-72
Dissertation annoucements, 1966-67
List of Ph.D. degrees granted in Mathematics at University of Oklahoma, undated



86-25/8 University of Chicago, 1931, 1942, and undated
86-25/9 1954-1964
86-25/10 1973-1978
1970s (undated)
Oklahoma, 1960s or 1970s
Oklahoma, undated, 1970s
2014-117/3 Mimeographed seminars I, various authors, 1975-76
Mimeographed seminars II, various authors, 1975-76
Analysis Seminars
Winter, 1942-43
Spring, 1946
Autumn, 1946
Winter, 1947
Autumn, 1949
Spring, 1950
Winter, 1950
Fall, 1952
Winter, 1952
Spring, 1953
Winter, 1953
Winter, 1954


Military work (World War II)

86-25/11 Aerial photogrammetry
Ballistics, correspondence and calculations
Ballistics, reports and calculations
Pre-Meteorology examinations
"B" program
Bowdoin - May "C" roster
Correspondence (general file)
Correspondence, College algebra, Analysis of C examinations
86-25/12 Correspondence, Committee chairmanship, End-of-course examinations
Correspondence, reports, examinations
War Policy Committee, Subcommittee on Examinations
U.S. Armed Forces Institute examinations
War Manpower Commission


Faculty and administrative

86-25/13 University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Iowa, and University of Oklahoma
2014-117/1 University of Oklahoma search committees correspondence, 1970
Administrative records, 1974 and undated



86-25/13 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1974
American Mathematical Society, 1936-1937
Mathematical Association of America, 1964, 1976
National Research Council, Division of Mathematics
4RM203c Research Fellow certificate, 1929
86-25/13 Committee on Regional Development, 1963-1964
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, visiting lectureship program, 1964-1966


Mathematicians - Biographical and memorial items

86-25/13 J. H. Barrett, G. A. Bliss, L. R. Ford, F. Klein, R. L. Moore/H. S. Wall, R. Woods
AAM-OS/2 E. H. Moore (portrait), 1930


Ernst D. Hellinger

86-25/13 Correspondence on Hellinger's death (1950)
Biographical and memorial items
3W111 Photograph of Hellinger, Aug. 20, 1949
86-25/13 Letter, from E. Rofhe [?], 1943
Lecture notes, (including Frankfurt Colloquium), 1919, 1921, 1932, 1939, and undated
Notes on transcendence of π; Bericht über die Entwicklung seit 1933 und über den gegenwärtigen Stand des Mathematischen Seminars der Universität Frankfurt, 1949
Mss, 1922, 1937; Seminars, 1939; Teaching notes and exams, 1937-1949
86-25/14 Reprints (not by Hellinger), some annotated
Seminars, 1941-1943
Spectra of quadratic forms; Northwestern University and Chicago Mathematical Club seminars, 1939-1949; Frankfurt Colloquium, 1915


Subject files and notes

86-25/14 Cartesian products, Maximum and minimum, A generalized Mayer problem
Functional analysis (in part) I
86-25/15 Functional analysis (in part) II
Generalized inverses; Optimal control
Isoperimetric problems for quadratic functionals; Linear systems, quadratic functionals
Items labeled by C. Ahlbrandt I
Jacobi equations
Moore-Penrose generalized inverse
Extremum properties of eigenvalues for Sturm-Liouville problems and quadratic functionals
Comments on a result of D. Banks
Oscillation theory
Correspondence with Lee Peng Yee on integration
Limit point - limit circle, monogeneity of eigenvalues
Related to Lion's seminar at Texas?
Convex functions
Comments on work of A.J. Levin (Green's functions for differential operators)
SL (Sturm-Liouville?) differential operators
Redheffer's work on Riccati equations
Comments on a paper of L. M. Graves
Items labeled by C. Ahlbrandt II
Resolvent operators for families of endomorphisms of a Banach space
Riemann-Steiltjes quadratic forms
Generalized Jacobi conditions
Differential equations in abstract spaces
Characteristic exponents of functions
Growth of solutions of ordinary differential equations
Green's functions
Items labeled by C. Ahlbrandt III
Sturm-Liouville boundary value problems
Excerpt from textbook draft
Work of Wm Coles - Utah
Quadratic functionals, Jacobi conditions
Dependence upon initial conditions
Multiple integral problems in the calculus of variations
86-25/16 Items labeled by C. Ahlbrandt IV
Sturm-Liouville boundary value problems - Green's functions
Fundamental lemma of the calculus of variations and its generalizations; Quadratic variational problems
Largely matrix equations; General distance spaces and their polygons
Mason's lemma; Energy principle and energy method; Theorem on conditional stability
Notebook (University of Chicago); Notes from books of A. E. Taylor and L. M. Graves; Geometry notes
Notes I - III
86-25/17 Notes IV - VI
Notes from expandable file I
86-25/18 Notes from expandable file II
Potential theory; Polynomial approximations of functions, adjoint systems, quadratic functionals
Symmetrizable transformations; Liouville
Topology; Notes on multiple integral problems of the calculus of variations…; Asymptotics
Transport theory; Riccati matrix differential equations; Contraction mapping theorem; E. Hille's Selecta; Theorem on integration of vector-valued functions; Boundary value problems
86-25/19 Typescript and mimeographed items: Vita of Yuan-Yung Tseng; Unidentified lecture notes and lists of theorems on Radon-Nikodym theorems, topological spaces, measure theory, parametric surfaces; G. W. Mackey, On Infinite Dimensional Linear Spaces; Point Set Theory; Lecture notes of J. L. Lions' lectures at the University of Texas(?)[labeled by C. Ahlbrandt]; Bibliography cards



86-25/20 Curriculum vitae; Newspaper clippings; Quotations; Certificates and awards; Correspondence concerning UT Fleming collection; Photographs and sketch
3W111 Photographs
Reid at UT with [J. H.?] Roberts, C. Cleveland, [N.?] Rutt, J. Dorroh, Lucille Whyburn, G. T. Whyburn, R. L. Moore, R. Lubben 1927-1928?
Reid, University of Chicago, 1939?
86-25/20 Education
Notes; Undergraduate mathematics paper
Course notes I - III
86-25/21 Course notes IV
Master's thesis; Doctoral thesis


Materials sent to Reid

2014-117/4 Frank Faulkner, received 1967
U.S. Naval Postgraduate School articles
H.S. Wall, received 1969
Ernst Hellinger article [copy]
Jack Warga, received 1969
"Conflicting Minimax Controls"
"On a Class of Pusuit and Evasion Problems"
"Control Problems with Functional Restrictions"
Stanley Burris, concerning E.H. Moore, received 1970
Paul Waltman, received 1970
"A Nonlinear Boundary Value Problem of Sturm-Liouville Type for a Two Dimensional System of Ordinary Differential Equations," 1970
"A Problem in Theory of Epidemics," 1970
A.M. Fink
"Conjugate Inequalities for Functions and the Derivatives," undated
Gene Levy, received 1974
Problems from American Mathematical Soceity Meeting, 1974
H.J. Hettlinger article, "Countable Linear Differential Systems," 1928
2014-117/1 Technical Report, "Nonlinear Differential Equations of the Second Order," 1953-55
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society
October, 1930
October, 1937
September, 1959
April, 1946


Mimeographed lecture notes

86-25/21 Bliss, G. A. Topics of the Calculus of Variations, 1932, reports and lectures by several persons, Mimeographed and ms notes
Bliss, G. A. The Calculus of Variations, Multiple Integrals, 1933, 1939, with ms notes
86-25/22 Carathéodory, C. Second Course in the Theory of Functions, 1936-1937
Courant, R. The Calculus of Variations, 1945-1956, 1949-1950
Ettlinger, H. J. Notes on Integration, 1934
Friedrichs, K. O. Advanced Ordinary Differential Equations, 1948-1949
Friedrichs, K. O. A Chapter in the Theory of Linear Operators in Hilbert Space, 1951
Graves, L. M. Introduction to the Theory of Functions, 1934
Hille, E. Fourier Series, 1931
86-25/23 Mayor, W. Calculus of Variations, 1935-1936
Morse, M. Analysis in the Large, 1936-1937
de Rham, G & K. Kodaira. Harmonic Integrals, 1950
Stone, M. H. Theory of Real Functions, 1940
Szász, O. Selected Topics in Function Theory of a Complex Variable, 1935
Tamarkin, J. D. On the Theory of Polynomials of Approximation, 1936


Letters of reference / review for promotion

86-25/42 1934-1959
1970-1976 and undated
2014-117/1 Letters of reference, 1965-76
Letters of reference for Terry Herdman, 1975
RESTRICTED: Letters of reference for Richard Holman, 1975
2014-117/2 Graduate students, 1975


Referee work and comments

86-25/25 Papers
1955-1963, 1977 and undated
86-25/42 1963-1977
86-25/43 1963-1977
2014-117/1 Associate editor, SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis
86-25/43 1972-1977
86-25/25 Research proposals
Correspondence and reports:
86-25/43 1965-1977 and undated
86-25/25 Supplementary printed materials and original envelopes, 1970-1973
Generalized spaces, Garret J. Etgen, [includes correspondence and preprints], 1973-1977 and undated
Garret J. Etgen, 1966-1969
Carl H. Rassumusen dissertation, January-June 1977

86-25/23-24 Reprints of Reid's articles


Theses of Reid's students and associates

86-25/26 Theses I
86-25/41 Theses II
2014-117/2 Margaret Helen Stange, 1946
Walter Gill Kelley, 1972


Reid's reprint collection [alpha by author]

86-25/27-40 Reprints
2014-117/4 Additional reprints


Diplomas [currently restricted for preservation purposes]

PRES Bachelors, from Simmons University, 1926
Masters, from the University of Texas, 1927
PhD, from the University of Texas, 1929
Honorary doctorate, from Hardin-Simmons University, 1943


Reid's library

CDL (3rd fl & 3rd basement) Carll, Lewis Buffett. A treatise on the calculus of variations. 1881.
A collection of papers in memory of Sir William Rowen Hamilton. 1945.
Diaz, J. R., and L. E. Payne, eds. Proceedings of the Conference on Differential Equations. 1956.
Graves, Lawrence Murray. The theory of functions of real variables. 1946.
John Wiley & Sons. Author's guide for preparing manuscript and handling proof. 1950.
Lebesgue, Henri. Leçons sur les séries trigonométriques. 1906.
Lieber, Hugh Gray, and Lillian R. Lieber. The education of T. C. Mits (The Celebrated Man In The Street): What modern mathematics means to you. 1944.
Reid, William Thomas. Ordinary differential equations. 1971.
Stagg, Amos Alonzo, and Wesley Winans Stout. Touchdown! 1927.
Taylor, Angus Ellis. General theory of functions and integration. 1965.
Taylor, Angus Ellis. Introduction to functional analysis. 1958.
University of Chicago Press. A manual of style. undated.
University of Chicago, Dept. of Mathematics. Contributions to the calculus of variations, 1930. 1931.
University of Chicago, Dept. of Mathematics. Contributions to the calculus of variations, 1931-1932. 1933.
University of Chicago, Dept. of Mathematics. Contributions to the calculus of variations, 1933-1937. 1938.
University of Chicago, Dept. of Mathematics. Contributions to the calculus of variations, 1938-1941. 1942.
World directory of mathematicians. 1958.