Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Professional

Personal

Photographs

Audio-Visual Material

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Marian Pour-El Papers, 1940-2004



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Pour-El (Marian) Papers
Title: Marian Pour-El Papers
Dates: 1935-2004
Abstract: The Pour-El Papers, 1935-2004, consist of Pour-El’s research papers, research papers of other mathematicians, handwritten notes, professional correspondence, and printed materials related to university activities, professional organizations, conferences, fellowships and grants, honors and awards, and women’s issues. Also included are biographical materials, school records, personal correspondence, and printed materials regarding women’s issues.
Accession No.: 2011-025; 2012-350
Extent: 16 ft., 11 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Marian Pour-El (1928-2009) was born in New York City, New York. She completed her bachelor’s degree in physics at Hunter College (1945), her A.M. in mathematics at Harvard College (1951), and continued her studies in mathematical logic at Harvard to earn her Ph.D. in 1958. She was one of the first and only female students in the Harvard mathematics department, a trend that she encountered throughout her career.

During her Ph.D. studies, Pour-El left Harvard to study under logicians in Berkeley, where she met her future husband, Akiva Pour-El, who was pursuing his doctorate in biochemistry. After receiving her Ph.D., she moved to University Park, Pennsylvania, to begin a post as a professor of mathematics at Pennsylvania State University. Pour-El taught there for the next seven years, except for a one-year sabbatical visiting position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, from 1962-1964, where she met mathematician Kurt Gödel. She left Pennsylvania State University in 1968 to accept a professorship at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, remaining where she remained until her retirement in 2000. From 1969 to 1970, Pour-El was a visiting professor at the University of Bristol in England.

Her research produced over 30 published works,including one book, Computability in Analysis and Physics, co-authored with Ian Richards. Along with teaching duties and research, Pour-El served on a number of university committees that included university procedural matters, computer science department planning, search committees, and women graduate students.

Pour-El actively participated in mathematics organizations, including the American Mathematical Society (AMS), Mathematical Association of America (MAA), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS), Association for Symbolic Logic (ASL), and the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). She sat on various committees, particularly with AMS, including the Committee for Committees, Committee on Translations from Russians, Committee to Monitor Problems in Communication, and the Committee on Professional Ethics, among others.

A significant portion of Pour-El’s involvement in the mathematical community and scholarship came from the many presentations she made at conferences, lectures, and symposiums both in the United States but internationally. In addition, she was invited to speak at events in Hungary, England, the Czech Republic, China, Japan, Germany, and Russia.

Pour-El received several honors, including a symposium held in her honor in Japan (1993), election as an AAAS fellow (1983), and election to the Hunter Hall of Fame (1975). She belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Sigma Pi Sigma. In addition to her fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, she was awarded fellowships from the National Academy of Science and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Due to the commitments to their respective careers, Pour-El and her husband lived apart for a large portion of their marriage in varying amounts of time and distance. Because of this, Pour-El and her husband often raised their daughter, Ina, in a single-parent household. She wrote several articles about her nontraditional marriage, including, “Spatial Separation in Family Life: A Mathematician’s Choice,” published in Mathematics Tomorrow. She was especially interested in the advancement of women in society and in the workplace, particularly in mathematics and sciences.

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Scope and Contents

The Pour-El papers, 1940-2004, consist of Pour-El’s research papers, research papers of other mathematicians, handwritten notes, professional correspondence, and printed materials related to university activities, professional organizations, conferences, fellowships and grants, honors and awards, and women’s issues. Also included are biographical materials, school records, personal correspondence, and printed materials regarding women’s issues. The collection is divided into four series: Professional, Personal, Photographs, and Audio-Visual.

The bulk of the collection is in the Professional series, which documents Pour-El’s and others’ published works as well as correspondence with other mathematicians around the world, among them Kurt Godel, Lenore Blum, Erwin Engeler, John Myhill, Ian Richards, and Anthony Dunlop. Other contents include handwritten notes detailing Pour-El’s work, university activities, salary reports, committee work, activity reports, and Vitae drafts. Pour-El’s many honors and awards are documented, along with her numerous travel and research grant awards.

The Personal series documents Pour-El’s interest in women’s issues, school records, correspondence with classmates and friends, and journals, primarily of her travels abroad. A scrapbook documents her education, from middle school through graduate school.

The Photographs series documents Pour-El’s international travels to Europe, Israel, and Asia, including her fellowship with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Also included are several photographs of Pour-El herself at various times in her life.

Finally, the Audio-Visual series contains 8 mm film and audiocassette recordings taken by Pour-El, documenting her travels, attendance at mathematical meetings, conference presentations, and oral history.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.

Note: The scrapbook in the Personal series was partially disassembled for preservation purposes. However, photocopies were taken of the pages in their original configuration, which are included with the collection.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Some files are restricted.

Use Restrictions

The bulk of these papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

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Index Terms

Persons
Bernays, Paul, 1888-1977
Blum, Leonore
Church, Alonzo, 1903-1995
Cipra, Barry
Curry, Haskell B. (Haskell Brooks), 1900-1982
Dunlop, Anthony
Engeler, Erwin
Gödel, Kurt.
Myhill, John, 1923-1987
Pour-El, Marian B. (Marian Boykan), 1928-
Richards, Ian, 1936-
Organizations
University of Minnesota.
Pennsylvania State University
Institute for Advanced Studies
University of Bristol
Harvard University
University of California, Berkeley
Radcliffe College
Hunter College.
Phi Beta Kappa.
Pi Mu Epsilon
Sigma Pi Sigma
Sigma Xi
Association for Women in Mathematics (U.S.)
American Mathematics Society.
Mathematical Association for America
Subjects
Computable functions.
Functional analysis.
Gödel numbers
Logic, Symbolic and mathematical
Mathematics
Recursion theory

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Marian Pour-El Papers, 1940-2004, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Helen Kim, November 2011.

Revised by Elliot Williams, January 2013.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Professional

Written work by Marian Pour-El (MPE)
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2011-025/1-2 (15567132, 15568088) Papers (published and unpublished) by MPE, 1953-2001, undated
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2012-350/1 Papers by MPE, 1957, undated
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2011-025/2 (15568088) Book drafts, 1988, undated
Restricted: Reviews, 1959-2001, undated
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2011-025/3 (15567278) Reviews, 1960-1997, undated
Papers by others, 1941-1996, undated
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2011-025/4 (15568044) Papers by others, 1964-1996, undated
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2011-025/5 (15568077) Papers by others, 1972-1998, undated
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2012-350/1 Papers by others, undated
Research
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2011-025/5 (15568077) Handwritten notes by MPE, 1955-1994, undated
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2011-025/6 (15568066) Handwritten notes by MPE, 1970-1997, undated
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2011-025/7 (15568022) Handwritten notes by MPE, undated
University activities
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2011-025/7 (15568022) Teaching, 1985-1998, undated
Administrative, 1958-2001, undated
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2011-025/8 (15567267) Student papers, 1975-2000, undated
Correspondence
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2011-026/8 (15567267) 1956-2004, undated
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2011-026/9 (15568011) 1963-1996, undated
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2012-350/1 1993, 1997
Organizations
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2011-025/10 (15567201) Organizations, 1960-1999, undated
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2011-025/11 (15568055) Organizations, 1977-1995, undated
Conferences
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2011-025/11 (15568055) Talks and Lectures, 1964-1997, undated
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2012-350/1 Talks and lectures, 1966, undated
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2011-025/12 (15680000) Fellowships/Grants and Travel Applications, 1963-1995, undated
Biographical materials
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2011-025/12 (15680000) Vitae and activity reports, 1970-2000, undated
Honors and awards, 1959-2001, undated
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2012-350/1 Honors and awards, 1959, 1971-1977, 1983, 2000-2005

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Personal

Women's issues
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2011-025/12 (15680000) Press clippings, 1965-1991, undated
Committee work, 1969-1995, undated
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2011-025/13 (15568033) Organizations, 1966-1998, undated
Written works, 1958-1997, undated
Correspondence, 1973-1995, undated
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2012-350/1 Clippings and publications, circa 1978, 1998
Biographical materials
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2011-025/14 (15545901) School records, 1940-1999, undated
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2011-025/15 (15545898) School records, 1940-1999
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2012-350/1 School records, 1942-1961
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4RM55b Diplomas, 1951, 1958
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2011-025/15 (15545898) Miscellaneous personal correspondence and info
Personal correspondence and info, 1958-1994, undated
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2012-350/2 Personal correspondence and info, 1954-2004, undated
Journals, 1968-1970, 1992-1993
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2012-350/3 Scrapbook, 1935-1953

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Photographs

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4RM203d Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship symposium, 1993
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2012-350/2 Lake Balaton, Hungary, 1968
Portraits of MPE and slides, 1972, 1979, 2000, undated
Unidentified slides and negatives, circa 1940s, 1972
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4RM203d China negatives, undated
Negatives '87 [Japan and Israel], circa 1987
Neg. '89 [Israel and Europe], circa 1989
Negatives [unlabeled], 1989-1991, undated

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Audio-Visual Material

8 mm Films
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2011-025/16 Cornwall, 1967
London, 1969?
Trip to Israel I, 1969?
Trip to Israel II, 1969?
North Italy, 1969-1970
Rome, 1970
Athens, undated
Eire, U.K., etc. (meeting?), undated
France I, undated
France II, undated
Greek islands, undated
Netherlands and Belgium (includes meeting), undated
Peleponesos tour, undated
Russian trip I (includes meeting), undated
Russian trip II (includes meeting), undated
Spain I, undated
[Untitled], undated
[Untitled], undated
[Untitled], undated
[Untitled], undated
Audiocassettes
box
2011-025/16 AWM meeting, St. Louis, Choosing Our Lives, January 29, 1977
AWM meeting, St. Louis, History of Math.: Ladies Diaries, January 30, 1977
AWM lecture, “My Ethical Problems in Math. Life,” August 13, 1985
Lecture in Nagoya, November 1988
Lecture in Nagoya (Duplicate), November 1988
Marian Pour-El, IC, February 22, 1992
Marian Pour-El, IA and IB, February 23, 1992
Marian Pour-El, IIA and IIB, February 24, 1992
Marian Pour-El, IIC, February 24, 1992
Marian Pour-El, IIIA and IIIB, February 25, 1992
Marian Pour-El, IVA, February 26, 1992
AWIS lecture, undated
Computers lecture, undated
Lecture on compatibility (Old form), undated
Math. Exam, undated
Mathematics lecture, undated
Marian's Story [I], undated
Marian's Story [II], undated
"Separate Stables," Marian's and Akiva's story in their words, undated

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