University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the William G. Chinn Papers, 1955-1995

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chinn, William G. (1919-2004)
Title: William G. Chinn Papers
Dates: 1955-1995
Abstract: Correspondence, reports, memoranda, and publications document William G. Chinn’s interactions with and functions in several American mathematical organizations including the Mathematical Association of America, the School Mathematics Study Group, and the United States Commission on Mathematical Instruction (1959-1995).
Accession No.: 2009-274
OCLC No.: 505951708
Extent: 6 ft., 6 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

William G. Chinn (1919-2004) was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He received his A.B. in Mathematics in 1941, and his M.A. in 1956, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Between completing his bachelor’s degree and beginning his master’s, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as an aide to General Eugene Lowry Eubank and as a meteorologist.

After WWII, he received his teaching credential (U.C. Berkeley, 1947). Chinn began working as a teacher for the San Francisco public school system at both the junior and senior high levels in 1947, and would continue to do so until 1965. During this time Chinn also served as a curriculum assistant for the San Francisco Unified Schools (1960-1963), a district consultant for the Monterey Unified School District (1960-1961), committee chairman of the California Mathematics Council (1956-1960), and as a special consultant to the California Office of Education (1965).

In 1966, Chinn took a post as an instructor of mathematics at the City College of San Francisco, where he would continue to work until his retirement in 1984. He was actively involved in the mathematics community, and was a member of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Mathematical Society(AMS), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), serving on several committees for each of those organizations. His profound interest in mathematics education led to his involvement with various organizations and councils, including the School Mathematics Study Group (1965-1977), the U.S. Commission on Mathematical Instruction (1973-1977), the NCTM’s Commission on Mathematics Education in the Inner City (1969-1972), and the MAA Committee on Two-Year Colleges.

In addition, Chinn published numerous articles, and co-authored several textbooks including Modern Mathematics: Structure and Method (1972), and Introductory Statistics and Probability: a basis for decision making (1971). He also served as an editor for the Two-Year College Mathematics Journal, the New Mathematical Library series, and as a contributing editor for Science World Magazine.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, reports, memoranda, and publications document William G. Chinn’s interactions with and functions in several American mathematical organizations including the Mathematical Association of America, the School Mathematics Study Group, and the United States Commission on Mathematical Instruction (1959-1995). Galleys and manuscripts illuminate Chinn’s activities as an author of mathematics textbooks and journal articles, as well as his activities as a speaker at mathematics conferences. The bulk of the collection concerns Chinn’s involvement in mathematical organizations, with little material related to his personal life.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

This collection is stored remotely at CDL, except for the photographs, which are stored on site. Advance notice required for offsite boxes. Contact repository for retrieval.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Alder, Henry L
Begle, Edward G. (Edward Griffith), 1914-1978
Chinn, William G.
Lax, Anneli
Steenrod, Norman Earl, 1910-1971
Subjects (Organizations)
Mathematical Association of America
School Mathematics Study Group
United States Commission on Mathematical Instruction
Community colleges
Mathematics education
Mathematics—Study and teaching—Periodicals
New mathematical library
Northern California

Related Material

See also:

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William G. Chinn Papers, 1955-1995, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Beth Nettels, February 2010.

Detailed Description of the Papers


I. Organizations

2009-274/1 Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
Committee on Two-Year Colleges
General, 1971-1976
Appointments, 1971-1974
Sounding Board, 1973-1974
Memos and reports, 1971-1973
Notes, 1974
Committee address lists, 1972-1973, undated
Missoula, Montana, 1973
Washington, D.C., 1975
“Concerns of Two-Year Colleges” drafts, correspondence, and background material, 1972-1974
U.C. Berkeley relations with Bay area two-year colleges, 1973-1975
Printed materials
“The Math Connexion,” Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges, March 1979
2009-274/2 Northern California Section
Executive Committee
Correspondence and memos, 1976-1981, undated
Agendas, minutes, and reports, 1979-1981, 1987-1995
Officers list, 1980
Section meetings
Programs and flyers, 1972-1993
Correspondence with speakers, 1978-1980
Newsletter, 1977-1989
Department of Education correspondence, 1978-1979
Notes, 1970s
“Math Blitz” coordinator packet, 1980
Annual High School Mathematics Examination, 1987-1992
Two Year College Mathematics Journal
Editorial Board, 1969-1975, undated
Readers, 1970-1971
2009-274/3 General, 1972-1974, 1977-1981
MAA Takeover of TYCMJ, 1972
Merger with Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges journal, 1972-1975, undated
“News and Notices” galleys and correspondence, 1972-1976
Editors directory, 1974
2009-274/4 Committee on New Priorities for Undergraduate Education
Correspondence and memos, 1971-1973
Reports and drafts, 1973
AMS/MAA Joint Meetings
Arrangements Committee
Correspondence, 1973, 1980
Meeting agendas and minutes, 1980-1981
Programs, 1972-1982
New Mathematical Library correspondence, 1970-1982
Pilot Internship Program, 1971-1972
American Mathematical Monthly reviews correspondence, 1972
NSF proposals
Summer Seminar in Mathematics, 1972
Project Using Modules correspondence, 1973-1975
2009-274/5 Relations with Chinese mathematicians, 1973, 1980-1982
Visiting Lecturer’s Program, 1973
Donations correspondence, 1977-1980
MAA Archives correspondence, 1978
Executive and Finance Committee memos and correspondence, 1979-1982
Math Olympiads Annual High School Math Exam, 1980, 1982
Nebraska and South Dakota Section Meeting manuscript and correspondence, 1981-1982
Newsletter, 1981
School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG)
Advisory Board reports, minutes, and memos, 1959-1971
Statement of Purpose, circa 1959
Panel and committee minutes, 1961-1969
Travel expense forms, 1966-1972
Progress Reports, 1968-1970
Grant renewal request, 1969
Programmed Learning Project, 1961-1962, undated
PLP Mathematics Inventory, 1962, 1964
Film project correspondence and notes, 1963
2009-274/6 TV Mathematics for Elementary Teachers, Film Text Evaluation, 1963
“One-year Study of Under-Achievers in Mathematics,” 1964
Special Curriculum Project, 1965-1967
Elementary Mathematics Project, 1966-1969
Mathematics For All Children, Austin, TX, 1966
Project coordinator contract, 1968
New Mathematical Library
Correspondence, 1968-1975, undated
First Concepts of Topology (NML 18)
Correspondence (2 folders), 1962-1986
2009-274/7 Manuscript and notes, 1960s
Annotated draft, 1960s
Manuscript, 1960s
"First Course in Algebra"
Manuscripts and correspondence, 1961-1962, undated
Summer Writing Sessions
Correspondence and memos, 1963-1970
Book reviews, 1965
2009-274/8 Curriculum reform drafts, 1968-1969, undated
Secondary school mathematics course outlines, 1968, undated
Responsibilities for School Mathematics in the ‘70s
Notes, papers, and schedule, 1970
“Unit Number Three,” undated
Book sales receipts and correspondence, 1963, 1966-1967
General, 1960-1975, undated
Max Bell, 1964-1969
Science Research Associates, 1965-1966, 1969, 1971
Ed and Elsie Begle, 1969-1978, 1982
Ed Begle memorial, 1978, undated
Handwritten notes, undated
Printed materials, 1965, undated
Clippings, undated
California Mathematics Council (CMC)
Conference materials, 1956-1969
Archives, 1980-1981
Officer candidate lists, 1969, 1970s
CMC, Community Colleges, 1972-1974, 1978, undated
2009-274/9 United States Commission on Mathematical Instruction (USCMI)
Second International Congress on Mathematical Instruction (ICME), 1971-1972
Second and Third ICME program announcements, 1972, 1976
Correspondence, reports, and minutes, 1973-1977
Fourth ICME correspondence
Planning Committee, 1978-1979
Site Selection Committee, 1977-1980
Schools Liaison Committee, 1980
California Department of Education
Correspondence and reports, 1969-1981
Statewide (Cal.) Mathematics Advisory Committee report, circa 1968
ESEA Title III reviews (Cal.) and correspondence, 1971-1975
ESEA Title IV-C reviews and correspondence, 1976-1979
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Symposium on Miller Mathematics Improvement Programs, 1969
Correspondence, 1980
National Science Foundation
Proposal reviews, 1966-1980


II. Creative Works

2009-274/10 Publications
“3.1416 and All That”
Science World column manuscripts and notes, 1963-1965
Annotated book manuscript, circa 1968
Correspondence and contract, 1968-1970
Introductory Statistics and Probability
Correspondence, notes, and drafts, 1969-1971
Revised edition correspondence, notes, and drafts, 1973-1975
“Modern Mathematics” galleys (1 and 2 of 4 folders), 1971
2009-274/11 “Modern Mathematics” galleys (3 and 4 of 4 folders), 1971
Arithmetic and Calculators
Correspondence, revisions, and notes, 1973-1976
Annotated manuscripts, June 1975
2009-274/12 Manuscript, circa 1975
Manuscript, Book 2, October 1975
“Mathematics Around Us” problem sets, circa 1975
“Notes on Vector Calculus,” 1978
“Calculus for the Life Sciences, “ 1980s
Unidentified manuscript, undated
Correspondence with Houghton Mifflin, 1963-1971
2009-274/13 Conference Papers
Topology lectures, 1971-1977, undated
“Intuitive Credibility (?) for the Beginner in Probability and Statistics,” (NCTM), Tuscon, Las Vegas, 1972, 1973
“Objectives: the Name of the Game,” (CMC-North), Asilomar, CA, 1972
“Problems Related to Inner City Environment and Minority Groups,” (ICME) Exeter, England, 1972
“A Report of Current MAA Activities for the Two-Year College…” Hayward, CA, 1972
“Pancakes and Ham Sandwiches,” Santa Maria, CA, 1974
“The Hand-held Calculator in the Two-Year College,” Cincinnati, 1977, undated
“Construction of Test Items in an Assessment of School Mathematics,” undated
Printed Materials
Jacobs, Harold R. Elementary Algebra. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1976


III. Teaching

2009-274/13 Future Scientists of America West Coast teachers summer conference, 1955
University of California Education Extension correspondence, 1961-1963
Letter to editor of The Mathematics Teacher, 1963
San Francisco Unified School District curricular material, 1963
Memo, draft proposal of Richmond Unified School District, 1966
City College of San Francisco correspondence, 1970, 1973, 1979


IV. Personal

2009-274/13 Education
Math 202 course notes and homework, 1960
Correspondence, 1975, circa 1976
Newsletter, U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston, June 1978


V. Photographs

4RM203c Future Scientists of America West Coast teachers summer conference, 1955
Professional portrait, undated