A Guide to the Stephen Hoffman Papers, circa 1950-1960s
Stephen P. Hoffman, Jr. was an American mathematician. He was born April 10, 1926 in Connecticut, where he attended high school at Norwich Free Academy. His undergraduate and graduate education took place at Yale University, where he received his bachelor’s (1949), master’s (1951), and doctoral (1957) degrees, all in mathematics. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Second-Order Linear Differential Operators Defined By Irregular Boundary Conditions,” which he completed under Shizuo Kakutani and Jacob T. Schwartz.
Hoffman taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn while completing his doctoral work. In 1957, he began teaching at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In the mid-1960s, he taught at State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland, possibly serving as chair of the mathematics department from 1967-1968. He moved to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in September 1968, where he was hired as chair of the mathematics department. A mathematical analyst, Hoffman taught courses in real analysis, as well as first-year calculus.
Hoffman published several textbooks, including Basic Analysis (1959), Modern Intermediate Algebra with Margaret Frances Willerding (1969), and Advanced Calculus (1970). He was well-known in mathematical circles and was friends with several prominent mathematicians, including Gian-Carlo Rota and Henry Pollak. Upon retiring from Bates in the early 1980s for health reasons, Hoffman moved to Hawaii. He passed away in 1985.
The Stephen Hoffman Papers document Hoffman’s career as a mathematician, particularly as a graduate student at Yale in the early 1950s. The bulk of the collection consists of Hoffman’s notes, both handwritten and typed, from courses he took at Yale. These notes describe courses by Warren Ambrose, G. A. Hedlund, Einar Hille, Nathan Jacobson, and Shizuo Kakutani. Also included for many courses are final examinations and term papers written by Hoffman.
The collection also contains some typed draft manuscripts, including Nathan Jacobson’s Lectures in Abstract Algebra, Vol. 2: Linear Algebra and a work by Hoffman on real variables.
Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.
This collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Stephen Hoffman Papers, circa 1950-1960s, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was donated to the Briscoe Center in 2013 by David Haines, one of Hoffman’s mathematics colleagues at Bates College.
This collection was processed by Kristin Law and Elliot Williams, July 2013.
Detailed Description of the Papers