University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the William Marvin Whyburn Papers, 1920-1977

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Whyburn, William M. (William Marvin), 1901-
Title: William Marvin Whyburn Papers
Dates: 1920-1977
Abstract: Papers document the career of William Marvin Whyburn (1901-1972), a student of Hyman Joseph Ettlinger. Included are correspondence, teaching notes, notes for speeches, research notes, drafts of publications, reports, clippings, photographs, and reprints.
Accession No.: 86-35; 2002-051; 2003-178
Extent: 10 ft., 11 in.; manuscript, typescript, printed, photographic.
Language: Material is written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

William Marvin Whyburn (1901-1972) was born in Denton County, Texas, on November 12, 1901. He received his undergraduate education at North Texas State College and the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Hyman Joseph Ettlinger, largely while teaching at Texas Technological College. Whyburn was a National Research Fellow at Harvard University (1927-1928) before joining the faculty of the University of California-Los Angeles, where he became Mathematics Department chairman (1937-1944). In 1944 Whyburn returned to Texas Technological College as President, a position which he retained until 1948 and his appointment as Kenan Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Department chairman at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Whyburn also served as Acting Provost (1956-1957) and Vice President for Research (1957-1960). After his retirement from the University of North Carolina in 1967, Whyburn was Frensley Professor of Mathematics at Southern Methodist University until 1970, when he returned to Chapel Hill and teaching part time at Eastern Carolina University. He died in 1972. Whyburn was a Council member (1940-1942), Associate Secretary (1950-1953), and served on numerous committees of the American Mathematical Society. He was first Vice-President of the Mathematical Association of America for 1943-1945. Whyburn's research dealt mainly with the theory of ordinary differential equations, particularly second order differential systems. He did extensive consulting work for the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Whyburn wrote several college textbooks with P. H. Daus.

Source: Reid, W. T., "William M. Whyburn, 1901-1972," Bulletin of the Mathematical Society of America, 79 (November, 1973):1175-1183.

Scope and Contents

Whyburn's administrative work at the University of North Carolina (1948-1967) is the most strongly represented aspect of his career in the collection. The General Correspondence contains many letters from this period, although letters from several academic years are missing. The Faculty and Administrative Activities series (1928-1972) is also dominated by Whyburn's University of North Carolina records, but also includes material, largely correspondence, bearing on his Texas Technological College Presidency (1944-1948). Documentation prior to 1944 is fragmentary. There is a series of his lectures and speeches (1928-1971). Coverage of Whyburn's American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America work (1939-1962) is sparse. The bulk of material related to Whyburn's research and publications (1928-1972) concerns his paper, "Systems of Differential Equations" (1972), written with Richard K. Williams, his textbooks, written with P. H. Daus (1947-1960), and his research grants (1953-1971). His government consulting work is well represented (1944-1971).

Whyburn kept some family and other personal letters (1958-1960) in a separate file, which is entered under Personal.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.



Organized into twelve series:
General Correspondence
Research Notes
Lectures and Speeches
Government Consulting Work
Faculty and Administrative Activities
Mathematicians - Biographical and Memorial Items
Professional Activities


Use Restrictions

The majority of these papers are stored remotely at CDL. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval. Photographs are stored on-site and do not require advance notice.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Ayres, William Leake
Ettlinger, Hyman Joseph
Hedrick, E.R.
Whyburn, Gordon Thomas
Whyburn, William M. (William Marvin), 1901-
Subjects (Organizations)
American Mathematical Society
Mathematical Association of America
North Carolina, University of
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Southern Methodist University
Texas Technological University
Differential equations
United States. Air Force.
United States. Army.
United States. Navy.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William Marvin Whyburn Papers, 1920-1977, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed description of the papers


General correspondence:

86-35/1 A - B
C - D
E - G
H - I
86-35/2 J - K
L - M
N - Ri
Ro - Ru
86-35/3 S - T
U - We
Wh - Y, and unidentified
Whyburn family
Correspondence of E.A. Cameron, A. Henderson, J.W. Lasley, Jr., E.L. Mackie
2003-178/1 M. Dutta and general printed material, January 18, 1971 and undated
2002-051/1 General correspondence, ca. 1922-1927, 1939-1946, 1964-1977



2003-178/1 Publication list, 1970
86-35/3 Publication lists
Correspondence and drafts, 1928-1972
"Complexes of Differential Systems," 1972
2002-051/1 Reprints, 1924-1958, 1972
2003-178/1 Reprints by W. M. Whyburn, 1924-1972
86-35/4 Books
"Analytic Geometry" (unpublished), correspondence, 1947-1952
Algebra for College Students (with P.H. Daus), correspondence and outlines, 1947-1952
First Year College Mathematics with Applications (with P.H. Daus), correspondence, 1948-1950
Algebra with Applications to Business and Economics (with P.H. Daus), correspondence, proofs, 1958-1960
2002-051/1 Bibliographies, 1924-1958



86-35/4 Air Force
Air Research and Development Command, 1953-1955
European trip, 1955; Contract material, 1958
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Non-Linear Differential Critical Point Theory, 1969-1971


Research notes:

86-35/5 Undated
Binomial series, fractional derivation: notes, correspondence, 1935-1936


Lectures and speeches:

86-35/5 Undated talks: background clippings and quotations
Notes and correspondence, 1928, 1940-1949
Notes and correspondence, 1950-1959
Notes and correspondence, 1960-1971
86-35/6 Mathematical Association of America Visiting Lecturer, 1972
2002-051/1 Phi Beta Kappa address, Univ. of North Carolina, 1961
Inaugural address, President, Texas Technological College, 1944


Government consulting work:

86-35/6 Air Force, 1944, 1951
Army, 1952-1971
Redstone Arsenal, 1952-1955
Navy: Mine Defence Laboratory and Ordnance Test Service, 1951-1960
86-35/7 Oak Ridge National Laboratory



86-35/7 American Mathematical Society
General records, including 1944 Los Angeles meeting, 1939-1962
Associate Secretaryship and Oak Ridge meeting, 1949-1950
Mathematical Association of America, 1939-1954
National Research Council, 1952-1953, 1972
National Science Foundation, 1952-1954
Phi Beta Kappa, 1944-1971
Philosophical Society of Texas, 1948-1971
Pi Mu Epsilon, 1928-1952
Sigma Xi, 1948-1953
86-35/8 Miscellaneous organizations, 1939-1971


Faculty and administrative activities:

86-35/8 University of California-Los Angeles:
Correspondence, 1928-1941
Printed matter, 1921-1943
Texas Technological College
Memos, reports, clippings, printed matter, 1944-1949
Correspondence, 1944-1947
Correspondence, 1948-1949
Correspondence, clippings, printed matter, 1950-1972
2003-178/1 Proceedings of Inauguration as President, 1944
86-35/9 University of North Carolina
General records, 1949-1963
Printed matter, 1957
Committee on University Government, 1949-1950
Computation Center, 1957-1960
Library, 1950-1953
Mathematics Department
General records
1948-June, 1953
86-35/10 1953-1954
Committee on Graduate Programs, Committee on Undergraduate Programs, 1965
Department members, 1949-1950
Full-time staff, 1952-1955
Graduate students and teaching assistants, 1949-1954
86-35/11 Part-time staff, 1952-1955
Positions available, 1949-1959
Schedule material, Forms and directives, 1952-1954
Staff prospects, 1947-1955
Summer session, 1953
Second University Conference, 1953-1954
Vice-President for Research, 1958-1960
Personnel regulations, 1958-1960
86-35/12 Southern Methodist University, 1967-1970
Eastern Carolina University, 1969-1972



86-35/12 University of North Carolina, tests and examinations, 1949-1954, 1961-1966
Eastern Carolina University, Lie theory notes
2002-051/1 University of California - Los Angeles, 1935-1939
University of North Carolina, ca. 1949-1966
4RM1 Restricted:
University of North Carolina class record (grades), 1965-1968


Mathematicians - Biographical and memorial items:

86-35/12 Clippings, printed matter, 1926-1972
Hedrick, E.R., 1923-1943


Professional activities:

86-35/13 Books and periodicals: purchases, inquiries, acknowledgements of sample copies, 1947-1970
Reprints of publications by others, 1945-1965
2003-178/1 Reprints of publications by others:
Albert-Cozens, 1925-1971
Dodd-Ganguly, 1930-1970 and undated
Garcia, 1943-1947 and undated
Garner-Haines, 1925-1949
Hamilton-Herrick, 1936-1960
Hestenes-Horadam, 1931-1963 and undated
Jaffin-Opatowski, 1924-1969
Panunzio-Seeger, 1927-1964
Toneilli-Zarankiewicz, 1923-1951 and undated
Manuscripts of papers by others, some with annotations, undated
86-35/13 Consulting: manuscript reviews, 1951, 1953
Utz: A Short Course in Differential Equations, 1966
Refereeing, 1928-1938
Summer Institutes, 1950-1969
Durham, North Carolina, Summer Institute, 1970



86-35/13 Ancestry, Biography of E.H. Rowell
86-35/14 Biographical material: directory entries, clippings, 1945-1965
Personal correspondence
A - M, 1958-1960
N - Z, 1958-1960
Family business, 1941-1947, 1958-1960
Honors, Awards, 1944, 1954
Non-professional organizations, interests, and activities, 1935-1972
Travel, 1945-1972
Insurance, 1945-1954
2003-178/1 Non-mathematical reprints, 1932-1957
Biographical material, 1961
2002-051/1 Biographical material, 1944, 1959, 1968, 1972-1973, and undated
University of Texas coursework, 1920-1923
4RM203c Photographs
Family photographs, including photos of William and Gordon Whyburn, undated
3W111 Family?, Whyburn, undated, 1966