University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the George Lenchner Papers, 1943-2006

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lenchner (George)
Title: Lenchner (George) Papers
Dates: 1943-2006
Abstract: George Lenchner founded the Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS) in 1978. Correspondence, lectures, notes, and publications document George Lenchner's career as a teacher and administrator in the Valley Stream Central School District (1953-1983).
Accession No.: 2008-259
Extent: 6 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

George Lenchner (1917-2006) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was interested in mathematics early in his life, and was a member of the math team at Boys High School (Brooklyn, NY) in the early 1930s. In 1939, Lenchner received his bachelor's degree from the City College of New York.

During WWII he served in the Army as an Airborne Ranger (with the rank of lieutenant), and in 1944, he was wounded on Omaha Beach during the D-day landing operations. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Following his service in the Army, he received his master's degree in music from New York University in 1948.

Lenchner began teaching high school mathematics in 1950 when he joined the faculty at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn. In 1953, he took a job at Valley Stream North High School (Long Island, NY) as its math chairman. In 1954, he proposed the creation of the Nassau County (NY) Interscholastic Mathematics League (NCIML) for high school students. By 1955, the NCIML was fully operational, with Lenchner serving as its leader. Also around this time, he formed the Nassau County Association of Math Supervisors, and he proposed the formation of the Nassau County Junior High School Mathematics League, which held its first meet in 1960. In addition, Lenchner helped Alfred Kalfus form the Suffolk County Interscholastic Mathematics League.

In 1965, he earned a master's degree in mathematics from Adelphi University. He became Director of Mathematics for the Valley Stream Central School District in 1970. In 1972, Lenchner received his Ed.D. in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He created the Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS) for the Valley Stream elementary schools in 1978. Lenchner retired from the Valley Stream school system in 1983 in order to focus fully on MOEMS. He retired from MOEMS in 1995.

Lenchner authored numerous publications, including (with Judy Broadwin) a solutions manual for the Advanced Placement examinations in calculus, and two volumes of Math Olympiad problems. His in-service course, The Art of Problem Solving in School Mathematics , was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1983, with the title Creative Problem Solving in School Mathematics. Examples of his honors and awards include being named a National Science Foundation Fellow, the Mathematics Teacher of the Year Award from the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, and the Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award from Harvard University.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, lectures, notes, and publications document George Lenchner’s career as a teacher and administrator in the Valley Stream Central School District (1953-1983). The publication process for several of Lenchner’s published works is particularly well documented in drafts and correspondence with his son, David. Correspondence, notes, drafts, and printed materials illuminate Lenchner’s work as founder and later executive officer of Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

These papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Lenchner, George
Subjects (Organizations)
Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State
Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Advanced placement programs (Education)
Mathematics—Competitions—United States
Mathematics—Problems, exercises, etc.
Mathematics—Study and teaching
Overhead projection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

George Lenchner Papers, 1943-2006, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers


I. Mathematical Olympiads

2008-259/1 (10612976) Nassau County Interscholastic Mathematics League (NCIML)
NCIML contests, 1957-1972, undated
Mathlete clippings and articles, 1962, undated
Problems and Solutions Guide, July 6, 1969
Publicity, 1972-2005
Problems and Solutions Guide order form, 1977, 1989
Correspondence, 1997-1998
New York City Interscholastic Mathematics League Contests, 1977-1980
Mathlete practice contests, undated
North High Mathletes practice handouts, undated
Theorems of geometry for Mathletes, undated
“My Favorite Mathlete Problems,” undated
2008-259/1 (10612976) Long Island Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary Students (LIMOES)
Olympiad overheads, [1978]-1980
Drafts, lecture notes, forms, 1981, undated
Lecture handouts and overheads, [198-?]
Correspondence, October, 5, 1981
LIMOES Pilot Year problems and solutions, 1998
2008-259/1 (10612976) Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS)
Contests and solutions, 1981-1982, 1993-1996, 2004-2005
Correspondence, 1981-2000
Newsletters, 1981, 1994-2006
Presentations, 1982-1994, undated
Notes, 1982, undated
Clippings, 1982, 1994-1998, undated
Promotional materials, 1983
Other mathematics contests, 1985-1989, undated
Math Olympiad appeals, 1989
“My Twelve Favorite Math Olympiad Problems” originals, 1992?
Kalman application for MOES Executive Director, 1993
Person in Charge of Olympiads presentation, 1998
Twentieth Anniversary Luncheon, 1999
George Lenchner Award biography, [200-?]
Presentation notes, undated
2008-259/1 (10612976) Publications
“Olympiads for Elementary Schools,” The Arithmetic Teacher, January 1985
Mathematical Olympiads for Children, 1988
Mathematical Olympiad Contest Problems for Children, 1990
Drafts (Folders 1-4 of 7), 1989-1996, undated
Mathematical Olympiad Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools, 1996
2008-259/2 (10612954) Drafts (Folders 5-7 of 7), 1989-1996, undated
Mathematical Olympiad Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools, 1996
Drafts on diskettes, [1994-1996]
Annotations, undated
Flyers for publications, undated
Reviews, 1992, 1996-1997
Reproduction permission requests, 1996-2003, undated
Correspondence with Random House, 1996
Glenwood Publications notes, 2003
Printed Materials
Rothenberg, Richard. Problem Solving for Math Competitions, 1996


II. Teaching and Administration

2008-259/2 (10612976) Phi Mu Epsilon Interscholastic Mathematics Contest, 1960
Colgate Institute for A.P. Teachers correspondence, 1966
Elementary school math instruction observation log, 1967
Valley Stream School District newsletters, 1970-1972
Basic Computation Test report, 1971
Enrichment vs. Acceleration How-to Clinic, 1973-1974?
Report on Cooperative Area Programs, Nassau County, 1976
Mathematics Education for Gifted Secondary Students, 1981
Art of Problem Solving lecture notes and visuals, 1982, [198-?]
Valley Stream Schools Math Curriculum Supplements, 1982
“Student Achievement” report, 1983
Retirement announcements, 1983-1984
New York State mathematics curriculum for K-6, 1985
Problem Solving In-service notes, handouts, exams, 1986-1987
Problem Solving In-service term papers and evaluation, 1986
Problem Solving In-service student grades, RESTRICTED, 1986-1987
Problem Solving In-service instructor evaluations, 1986?-1987
“Ubiquitous Unit Fraction” notes, overheads, 1989, 1992, undated
NSF Project grant proposal for In-service Institute, [198-?]
“Greatest Common Factor” and “Least Common Multiple” overheads and masters, [199-?]
“Art of Problem Solving” notes and overheads, undated
“Directed Numbers” overheads and handouts, undated
“Divisibility” overheads, undated
Drafts of mathematical overhead visuals, undated
2008-259/3 (10612943) Euler and other famous mathematicians notes and overheads, undated
“Five-Year Olds” overhead, undated
Geometry overheads, masters, and notes, undated
Grids overhead visuals, undated
Lesson on one, lessons on primes and composites, undated
Math Skills workshop notes and handouts, undated
Polygons handout, undated
Problem handouts, undated
Problem solving overheads, undated
“Solving ‘Algebra’ Problems in Elementary Schools” handouts, undated
Transformations and reflections overheads, undated
Kindergarten lesson on “Tal” with overheads, undated
“Ugboo's Big Problem” overheads, undated
Visuals of “Creative Problem Solving” problems, undated
2008-259/3 (10612943) Printed Materials
Trig-Easy manuals, 1943, 1945
Mathematical theme visuals from Scripta Mathematica, 1948-1955, undated
Famous mathematicians, 1964-1965, 1988-1989, undated
Math and secondary schools
“The Calculus of Finite Differences: Enrichment for Student and Teacher,” Professional Growth for Teachers, Mathematics, April 1965
Elements of Mathematics, Book O: Intuitive Background, 1973
Overhead projectors and education
Krulik, Stephen and Irwin Kaufman. How to Use the Overhead Projector in Mathematics Education, 1966
“Summary of a Research Study Conducted by the New York City Board of Education on the Effectiveness of Overhead Projection in Two High School Classes,” 1966?
Clippings, 1981-1984, undated
Problem solving for elementary students
Cohen, Sandra. Problem Solving for Primary Grades K-3, 1984
Semadeni, Zbigniew. “Verbal Problems in Arithmetic Teaching,” 1986
Puchalska, Ewa and Zbigniew Semadeni. “Children's Reactions to Verbal Arithmetical Problems with Missing, Surplus or Contradictory Data,” 1987
Jane and Johnny Love Math, 1992
Audio Material
Interview with Dr. Bruce Vogeli re: Algebra textbooks (audio cassette tape), 1971


III. Publications and Creative Works

2008-259/3 (10612943) Calculus projectuals advertisements, 1964?
Calculus- A Teacher's Guide for 42 Projectuals, 1965
Calculus overheads, 1965
First generation masters for Calculus overheads, 1965
“Algebra 1” and “Algebra 2” correspondence, 1969
Errata for A Visual Approach to Modern Algebra I, 1969
Dissertation overhead projection study kit, 1969?
M2X=Mathematics Materials Exposition manuscript, 1970?
2008-259/4 (10612965) Dissertation- “A Study of the Effect of the Use of Overhead Projection on Achievement in Presenting Selected Topics of Circular Functions,” 1972
Dissertation abstract, 1972?
Correspondence, 1973, 1975
“Problem Number 10,” Mathematics Teacher, November 1974
“Notes on Inequalities in Secondary School Mathematics,” undated
The Overhead Projector in the Mathematics Classroom, 1974
Calculus projectuals correspondence, 1977
“Number Models in Primary Grades Unifix Cubes,” 1977
Creative Problem Solving in Elementary and Middle School Mathematics, 1981
Problem sets, 1981?
Manuscript for Ch. 10, 1981?
Overheads, [198-?]
Creative Problem Solving in School Mathematics, 1st Ed., 1983
Creative Problem Solving order forms and reviews, undated
Creative Problem Solving in School Mathematics, 2nd Ed.
Drafts (Folders 1-2 of 8), 1999-2004, undated
2008-259/5 (10612932) Drafts (Folders 3-8 of 8), 1999-2004
Printed Materials
Figure It Out: Thinking Like a Math Problem Solver, Books 5-6, with Lenchner’s notes and critiques, [199-?]


IV. Professional Activities

2008-259/5 (10612932) Curriculum Vitae, 1958-1981
Conference correspondence and programs, 1958-1993
Presentation materials- NCTM, AMTNYS, 1962-1966, undated
Advanced Placement conference, notes, lecture, correspondence, 1964, undated
Sitomer book reviews, 1970, 1976-1977
Journal referee materials, 1974-1975, undated
Papers, newsletters and memos from professional organizations, 1976-1988
Nassau County Student Symposium in Mathematics, 1985, undated
2008-259/6 (10612921) International Congress on Mathematical Education, 1980-1988
Problem solving lecture notes, 1983-1986
“How-To Clinic” program, 1984
Sixth ICME abstract of poster presentations, 1988
“Math Matters” PTA kit, 1989
Syllabus for Framingham State College course, 1990
Long Island Mathematics Conference (LIMACON) notes, 1992
“New Technology in Math” project, 1996, undated
“My Twelve Favorite Problems” overheads and lecture notes, [199-?]
Loose notes, undated
AMTNYS “World's Greatest Math Teacher” bumper stickers, undated


V. Personal

2008-259/6 (10612921) Student work, graduate course materials, 1958
Experienced Teacher Fellowship correspondence, 1967
PTA scholarship, 1968-1970
Correspondence with former students, 1968-1984, undated
Photo key overhead of 29th Dn. officers, undated


VI. Photographs

2008-259/6 (10612921) Math class at Valley Stream North High School, undated


VII. Digital Media

2008-259/6 (10612921) Unidentified 5 ¼ “ diskettes, undated
Unidentified 3.5” diskettes, 1994-2002, undated
“My Docs/Windows” Backup, January 23, 2002
“My Documents” CD-R, February 2, 2002