University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Jeanne Agnew Papers, 1913-2005

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Agnew, Jeanne, 1917-2000
Title: Jeanne Agnew papers
Dates: 1913-2005
Abstract: Correspondence, publications, photographs, and printed materials document the teaching career of Jeanne Agnew (1917-2000) at Oklahoma State University, including her publications and work on several National Science Foundation grants.
Identification: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00894
Extent: 33 linear feet
Language: English .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Dr. Jeanne Agnew was born in Ontario, Canada, on May 3, 1917. She earned a bachelor of arts and a master of arts degree in mathematics at Queen's University in Canada in 1937 and 1938, respectively, and a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College, the women's affiliate of Harvard University, in 1941. After graduation, she worked on the Canadian Nuclear research effort during World War II while her husband, Dr. Theodore Agnew, served in the United States Navy.

Her teaching career at Oklahoma State University (OSU) began in 1948 when she was hired as a part time instructor. She was appointed Assistant Professor in 1956, Associate Professor in 1962, and Professor in 1969. While working at OSU, Dr. Agnew published two textbooks and later wrote several independent and correspondence study courses. She was an influential teacher of mathematics and directed several masters reports and doctoral theses. Many of her former students became faculty members at regional colleges and universities, and one of her students, William Pogue, worked as an astronaut for NASA in the Skylab program. As a professor, she received many awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1964 and 1978, the Outstanding Educator Award in 1970 and 1975, and honorary doctorate degrees from Queen's University in 1988 and Lakehead University in 1990. In 2005, Dr. Agnew was posthumously inducted into the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame.

While at OSU, Dr. Agnew was involved with several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants. Her most notable work in connection with the NSF grants involved gathering and presenting industry-related mathematical problems for undergraduate students in an effort to make mathematics education more applicable. The problems required students to study the literature, develop and refine a solution, and write a technical report.

After her retirement in 1984, Dr. Agnew remained with the university, working on several committees and supervising independent study courses. She died on May 8, 2000.

Scope and Contents

The Jeanne Agnew Papers, 1913-2005, consist of correspondence, mathematical notes, teaching materials, drafts, printed materials, photographs, and other material documenting the life and career of Jeanne Agnew (1917-2000). The papers are divided into two series: Professional and Personal.

The majority of the collection relates to Agnew's professional career, including her work with the National Research Council of Canada during World War II, her teaching career at OSU (1948-1995), and her textbooks and other writings (1943-1989). Agnew's professional correspondence, teaching materials, and publications provide a look at her contributions to the field of mathematics while the papers related to OSU document her high level of involvement with her students, as well as committees and functions of the university outside the mathematics department. Also included are several master's reports and doctoral theses of students Agnew advised, most notably Robert Knapp, who co-authored her textbook, Linear Algebra with Applications.

Correspondence, printed materials, mathematics problems, audio-visual media, and research materials related to the ten NSF grants Agnew participated in between 1955 and 1992 make up almost half of the materials in the professional series. Most of this material centers on her work with industry professionals to create applicable mathematics problems for both university undergraduate and high school students. As part of this effort, Agnew communicated with leaders in several fields in Oklahoma and around the country, including American Fidelity Assurance, Amoco, Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Halliburton, McDonnell Douglas Astronautics, NASA, and Rockwell International. As part of another NSF grant, Agnew also corresponded with the Working Mathematics Group in the United Kingdom (UK) to compare mathematics education in the United States, specifically her work with industry-related problems, to that in the UK.

The personal series documents Agnew's education at Queen's University (1935-1938) and Radcliffe College (1938-1941), including class notes, textbooks, correspondence, photographs, and her master's thesis. A draft of her memoir is also included along with correspondence, photographs, and printed material related to her family, religious activities, and other interests.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.


Conditions Governing Access

A portion of these papers is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Access to student records is restricted until 75 years after the date of creation. Contact repository for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Birkhoff, George David, 1884-1944
Hamilton, Olan H., 1899-1976
Knapp, Robert C.
Pogue, William R.
Corporate Names
American Fidelity Assurance Company
Amoco Production Company
Boeing Wichita
Halliburton Services
McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Oklahoma State university
Rockwell International
United States. Federal Aviation Administration
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Mathematics--Study and teaching

Related Materials

The papers of Jeanne Agnew's husband, Dr. Theodore Agnew, are located in the archives of Oklahoma State University.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jeanne Agnew Papers, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Accession Number(s)

2007-229; 2008-080

Detailed Description of the Collection


National Research Council of Canada
2007-229/1 Correspondence, 1946-1959, undated
Notes, undated
2007-229/1 Articles, 1945-1947, undated
Co-authored manuscript: "Theory of Neutron Diffusion,", undated
OSU-related materials
Teaching materials
2007-229/2 Test materials, 1950-1980, undated
Mathematical problems materials, 1989, undated
2007-229/3 Course syllabi, notes, 1992, undated
Students' work
2007-229/3 Student questionnaires, 1976
Student course evaluations, 1977, undated
Essays, exams, 1980, undated
"Pokes in Space" booklet, 1987
Master's reports
2007-229/3 OSU, 1962-1963
2007-229/4 OSU, 1964-1989
Other university, 1976
Doctor of Education theses
2007-229/4 OSU, 1965-1967
2007-229/5 OSU, 1970-1971
2007-229/6 OSU, 1972
2007-229/7 OSU, 1978-1983
Mathematics Notes
2007-229/7 Quote, personalized notepad, 1961, undated
"Ideas for Exercises,", 1964-1984, undated
Notes from Matrix Seminar, 1975
"Non-Archimedean Analysis,", undated
"Number Theory Seminar,", undated
2007-229/8 "Palindromes,", undated
"Problems,", undated
"Transparencies,", undated
Miscellaneous mathematics notes, 1964, undated
Mathematics notebooks, 1965, undated
Research Materials
2007-229/9 Mathematics articles by others, 1929-1982, undated
Printed material about mathematics, "Math Humour,", 1974-1991
Printed material about education, 1972-1990, undated
2007-229/10 Bibliographic notes, undated
"Mathematical Games" articles, 1968-1979
Annotated articles, 1949-1982, undated
Materials related to former students
William Pogue
2007-229/11 Correspondence, printed material, 1975, 1994, undated
Skylab – printed material, 1970-1975, undated
NASA – printed material, 1968-1981, undated
4RM203c [SRH1230024920] Scrapbook devoted to Pogue, 1973-1975
RESTRICED - Student records
2007-229/12 Class record books, 1950-1982, undated
Independent study records, class lists, 1978-1995
Alumni materials
2007-229/13 Questionnaires: School of Mathematical Sciences, OSU Foundation, undergraduate class, 1975-1985, undated
2007-229/14 Papers from students of former students, 1979-1981
2007-229/14 With former students, 1957-1990, undated
2007-229/15 Letters of recommendation, 1957-1990, undated
With mathematics professionals, 1957-1988, undated
Administrative documents from OSU
2007-229/15 Correspondence, forms, printed material, financial documents, 1960-1995, undated
OSU Mathematics Department
2007-229/15 Business cards, correspondence, forms, pin, 1963-1995, undated
Olan H. Hamilton – correspondence, 1969
2007-229/16 Printed material, notes, 1967-1997, undated
COSU Symposium on Applied Mathematics, 1978-1979
Conference on Undergraduate Mathematics at OSU, 1983
Pi Mu Epsilon (ΠΜΕ), 1948-1979, undated
Other mathematics teaching
2007-229/16 Notice of Appointment at Georgia State College, 1966
Correspondence from Lakehead University, 1978
Athletics Council
2007-229/17 Correspondence, 1978-1994, undated
Minutes, notes, 1978-1982
Printed material, 1978-1993, undated
Reports, sports survey, overheads, 1980-1983, undated
2007-229/18 Policy and Procedure manual, 1979
Rules and Regulations manual, Big 8 Conference, 1978
Reports, 1978-1982
2007-229/19 Volunteer Readers for the Blind, 1986
Emeritus Association
2007-229/19 Minutes, audiocassette, correspondence, notes, printed material, 1984-1995, undated
Newsletters, yearbook, 1988-1994
Emeritus Council
2007-229/19 Minutes, correspondence, 1988-1991
Activities Committee
2007-229/20 Minutes, correspondence, 1989-1991
Retirement Center Committee
2007-229/20 Minutes, clipping, notes, 1990-1993, undated
University Club
2007-229/20 Correspondence, notes, 1993-1995, undated
Retirement scrapbook (removed from binder), 1984
Professor Emeritus certificate, 1984
National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants
Summer Institute for High School Teachers – manuscripts
2007-229/21 "Contributions of Geometry to the Main Stream of Mathematics,", 1955
"Foundations of Algebra for High School Mathematics Teachers,", 1955
"Game Theory and Programming,", 1955
"Modern Pure Geometry for High School Mathematics Teachers,", 1955
"Topology for Secondary Mathematics Teachers,", 1955
"Mathematical Structures,", undated
Restructuring the Undergraduate Learning Experience (RULE), Comprehensive Assistance to Undergraduate Science Education (CAUSE), and Teaching Experiential Applied Mathematics (TEAM)
2007-229/22 RULE – grant proposal, correspondence, financial documents, 1976-1977
CAUSE – grant documents, blank forms, 1977-1980, undated
Supporting documentation, undated
2007-229/23 TEAM - grant proposal, overheads, 1983, undated
Printed material, 1976-1984, undated
Problem catalogs, undated
2007-229/24 Indexes (card file boxes), student contact information, undated
Correspondence, 1976-1990, undated
2007-229/25 Contact information, notes,overheads, undated
Mini Course - correspondence, notes, overheads, 1982-1985, undated
RULE/CAUSE problems by company
2007-229/26 A-1 Electric – problems, undated
The Aerospace Corporation – problems, printed material, 1978-1979, undated
American Fidelity Assurance Company – correspondence, problems, student papers, notes, printed material, 1974-1980, undated
Ammann and Whitney Consulting Engineers
2007-229/26 Problems, printed materials, U-Matic tape, 1984-1985, undated
2007-229/27 U-Matic tapes, 1985
Amoco Production Company
2007-229/27 Correspondence, problems, 1976-1980, undated
2007-229/28 Student papers, notes, printed material, 1962-1980, undated
4RM203a 16mm film, undated
Boeing Wichita Company
2007-229/28 Correspondence, problems, 1976-1983, undated
2007-229/29 Student papers, notes, printed material, 1976-1983, undated
Central Services Organization – correspondence, printed material, 1980- 1984, undated
Champlin Petroleum Company – problems, notes, undated
Continental Oil Company (Conoco) – correspondence, problem, printed material, 1978-1982, undated
Dresser Industries – printed material, undated
Enid Highway Department
2007-229/29 Problem, undated
2007-229/30 Printed material, videotape (VHS), U-matic tape, undated
Eyring Research Institute, Inc
2007-229/29 Correspondence, problem, notes, 1985-1986, undated
4RM55a Site plans, undated
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
2007-229/30 Correspondence, problems, 1976-1983, undated
2007-229/31 Problems, student papers, notes, videotape (VHS), 1984, undated
4RM203b [SRH1230024916] 16mm film, undated
2007-229/32 U-matic tapes, 1984
General Telephone Equipment – problem, notes, 1980, undated
Great Northern Paper – correspondence, problem, printed material, 1982, undated
Halliburton Services, 1962-1979, undated
2007-229/32 Correspondence, problems, 1962-1979, undated
2007-229/33 Student papers, notes, printed material, 1962-1979, undated
Health Science Center – problem, printed material, 1978, undated
Hughes Aircraft Company – problem, notes, printed material, 1982-1984, undated
Hughes Research Laboratories – problem, 1980
Kleinschmidt & Dutting, Consulting Engineers – problem. correspondence, student paper, printed material, chart, 1982-1983, undated
Magnetic Peripherals, Inc. – problem, printed material, undated
Maine Cascade Iron Works – correspondence, problem, notes, 1982, undated
McCaleb-Nusbaum-Thomas – correspondence, problem, notes, 1979-1983, undated
McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company
2007-229/34 Correspondence, problems, 5 ¼" floppy disk, notes, printed material, videotape (VHS), 1979-1986, undated
2007-229/35 U-matic tapes, 1984
Michigan-Wisconsin Pipeline – problem, undated
2007-229/35 Correspondence, problems, student paper, 1973-1989, undated
2007-229/36 Notes, printed materials, undated
2007-229/37 Netherton & Associates, Consulting Engineers – problems, notes, printed material, 1953-1963, undated
Oklahoma Gas & Electric – problems, notes, undated
Ontario Hydro – problem, printed material, undated
Phillips Petroleum – correspondence, problems, student papers, notes, printed material, 1969-1971, undated
Phillips University – problems, undated
Public Service Company – problem, notes, undated
2007-229/38 Rockwell International – correspondence, problems, student papers, printed material, notes, 1965-1981, undated
2007-229/39 Solnok, Albert, Consulting Engineer – problems, student papers, notes, printed material, 1984, undated
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company – correspondence, problem, student papers, 1976, undated
Tinker Air Force Base – problem, undated
United States Military Academy – correspondence, problems, 1979-1980
Virginia Institute of Marine Science – correspondence, problem, printed material, 1976, undated
Young, Richard – survey, 1980
Unidentified companies
2007-229/39 Problems, student papers, 1983, undated
4RM55a Statistical report, 1970
Problems created by other institutions
2007-229/40 Washington State University, Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia, University of Michigan, Modules and Monographs in Undergraduate Mathematics and its Applications Project (umap), 1978-1987
Unused problems/materials, undated
Design of Short Course
2007-229/41 Project proposal, notes, printed materials, 1979, undated
Comparative study of the Educational Effectiveness of Industry-Related Materials Developed in the UK and in the US
2007-229/41 Project proposal, 1980-1983
Correspondence, printed material, notes, problems, 1980-1984, undated
Mathematics at Work in Society
2007-229/42 Correspondence, printed material, 1981, undated
Applications in Mathematics (AIM)
2007-229/42 Correspondence, project information, 1985-1992, undated
Printed material, notes, overheads, 1984-1987, undated
5 ¼" floppies, undated
2007-229/43 Module: "A Backwater Curve for the Windsor Locks Canal" – videotape (VHS), problem, 1986
Module: "Budgeting Time and Money" – videotape (VHS), problem, notes, draft, undated
2007-229/44 Module: "Capturing a Satellite" – videotape (VHS), problem, 1988, undated
Module: "Pricing Auto Insurance" – videotape (VHS), problem, 1986
2007-229/45 Module: "Routing Telephone Service" – videotape (VHS), problem, notes, printed material, 1984-1986, undated
Module: "Testing Surface Antenna" – videotape (VHS), problem, 1986
2007-229/46 Module: "Volcanic Eruption Fallout" – videotape (VHS), problem, correspondence, notes, printed materials, undated
Financial documents, 1985-1988, undated
Development, Implementation and Research for Educating Competent Teachers (DIRECT)
2007-229/46 "Introduction to Mathematical Modeling" workbook, drafts, 1990, undated
2007-229/47 Correspondence, 1977-1990, undated
"Ideas," notes, research materials, printed material, 1958-90, undated
Example projects funded by NSF, 1959-1988, undated
2007-229/48 Curricula, 1982-1988
Education material catalogs, 1986-1989
Integrated Calculus/Physics (ICP) course at Colorado School of Mines
2007-229/48 Correspondence, notes, course materials, 1988-1991, undated
Square One Discovery Workbooks
2007-229/48 Pre-proposal, correspondence, 1989-1991
2007-229/49 Printed material, Children's Television Workshop, BBC, NSF, 1988-1990, undated
Mathematical Power
2007-229/49 Correspondence, proposal evaluation, note, problems, project description, 1991, undated
Textbooks by Agnew
Explorations in Number Theory
2007-229/49 Draft, 1971
2007-229/50 Prepublication manuscript, 1971
Book jacket, 1971
Correspondence, notes, 1970-1981, undated
Publishing Agreement, financial statements, 1970-1974, undated
Linear Algebra with Applications
2007-229/50 First edition, 1978
Second edition, 1983
2007-229/51 Third edition, 1989
Draft, second edition, undated
Draft, third edition, chapters 1-2, undated
2007-229/52 Draft, third edition, chapters 3-6, undated
Correspondence, financial statements, 1972-1997, undated
Notes, printed material from publisher, undated
"Mathematical Problems in Industry"
2007-229/52 Publication Agreement, correspondence, notes, 1984-1985
Independent study courses by Agnew
2007-229/53 "Math 2145" – exams, notes, undated
"Math 2155" – table of contents, preface, lessons 1-7, undated
"Math 2265"
2007-229/53 Table of contents, exams, drafts, 1986
2007-229/54 Workbook, 1986
2007-229/55 "Math 2365" - workbook (removed from binder), lessons 1-28, quizzes, undated
2007-229/56 "Math 2713" workbook, drafts, course guide, 1977
"Math 2713A"
2007-229/56 Course guide, drafts, 1991
2007-229/57 Drafts, exams, workbook, 1991
Unidentified course, notes, undated
Publications by Agnew
2007-229/58 Articles, notes, correspondence, 1943-1995, undated
Writings by others about Agnew
2007-229/58 Printed material, 1972-1988, undated
Correspondence, 1953-1993
Still Running, by Joy Parr, correspondence, 1986-1987
Women Becoming Mathematicians: Creating a Professional Identity in Post- World War II America, by Margaret A. M. Murray, correspondence, 1995-2000
"History of the Teaching of Modeling," by Henry O. Pollak, correspondence, copy of chapter, 1996-1997
"The Development of Nuclear Reactor Theory in the Montreal Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada 1943-1946," by M. R. R. Williams, correspondence, 1999-2001
Textbooks by others
2007-229/59 Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Differential and Integral Calculus, Frank Ayres, 1950
Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Matrices, Frank Ayres, 1962
Lectures on some Aspects of p-Adic Analysis, F. Bruhat, photocopy, 1963
"Applications of Matrix Methods to Problems in Electrical Engineering," Everette T. Garrett, photocopy, 1954
"Boolean Algebra with Applications to the Design of Computer Circuits," Franz Hohn and David E Muller, photocopy, 1958
2007-229/60 The Matrix Algebra Calculator: Linear Algebra Problems for Computer Solutions, Charles H. Jepsen and Eugene A. Herman, photocopy, 1988
Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Plane and Solid Analytic Geometry, Joseph H. Kindle, 1950
"Engineering Science Thermodynamics," Robert L. Robinson, OSU independent and correspondence study course, undated
Mathematician's Delight, WW Sawyer, 1943
Prelude to Mathematics, WW Sawyer, 1955
"Mathematics and Society," Verbal Snook, unpublished course, photocopy, 1976
"College Algebra Lecture Guide," no author, unpublished, undated
Writings by others – articles, unpublished papers, lectures
2007-229/61 Birkhoff, George D. and Garrett B, 1913-1923, undated
Hamilton, O. H, 1938-1979
Adams-Stein, 1923-1980, undated
2007-229/62 Alladi-Whitney, no author, 1941-1989, undated
Reviews by Agnew, 1956-1986
Speeches and presentations by Agnew
2007-229/63 Drafts, overhead transparencies, undated
2007-229/65 Correspondence, 1973-1992
2007-229/66 Conference materials, 1980-1984
Honors and Awards
Honorary Doctorate from Queen's University
2007-229/67 Correspondence, printed material, convocation speech, audiocassette, diploma, 1988
Honorary Doctorate from Lakehead University
2007-229/67 Correspondence, speech, printed material, 1989-1990
2007-229/68 Printed material, diploma, 1990
Other honors and awards
2007-229/68 Outstanding Teacher award, 1964
Outstanding Educator award, 1970, 1975
Who's Who of American Women, 1969
Outstanding Woman award, 1971
Independent and correspondence study awards, 1987-1994
Mathematical Association of America awards, 1990-1997
OSU School of Education Hall of Fame, 2005
Others, 1987-1988
2007-229/80 Outstanding Teacher Award, 1978
4RM55a Outstanding Teacher Award certificate, 1964
Professional Associations
2007-229/69 American Mathematical Society, 1949, 1989
Mathematical Association of America
2007-229/69 Oklahoma/Arkansas section, 1974-1999
Putnam Competition, 1976
American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges, 1977-1989
Other professional associations, 1989, 1998, undated
Curriculum Vita, notes, 1963-1989, undated
2007-229/69 Educational aid, geometrical keychain, undated
2007-229/70 Unidentified digital media – 3.5 floppies, audiocassettes, undated
4RM202 [SRH1230024890] William Pogue – visit to OSU, Okemah, interview (removed from box 19.5/2007-229/10), 1975
OSU Mathematics department (removed from box 19.5/2007-229/14), 1976, undated
Retirement scrapbook (removed from box 19.5/2007-229/18), 1984
Halliburton Services (removed from box 19.5/2007-229/30), 1977
NASA, 1984-1986, undated
Taken by Margaret Murray, 1977
Honorary Doctorate from Queen's University, 1988
Honorary Doctorate from Lakehead, 1990
Mathematical Association of America (?), undated
4RM202 [SRH1230024890] Personal portraits, unidentified photographs, 1972-1997, undated
1937 Queen's University yearbook, 1937
Memoir – photograph of Marion Agnew, 1972
4RM203c [SRH1230024920] William Pogue portrait, signed to Agnew, undated
Olan H. Hamilton portrait, undated
George David Birkhoff portrait, 1941


Queen's University
2007-229/71 Printed material, course syllabus, mathematics medallion, 1937 yearbook, 1936-1937
Books awarded for Prince of Wales Prize, 1937
2007-229/71 Galois and the Theory of Groups: A Bright Star in Mathesis, Lillian R. Lieber, 1932
The Einstein Theory of Relativity, Lillian R. Leiber, 1936
Introduction to Higher Algebra, Maxime Bôcher, 1936
2007-229/72 Transcripts, Master's thesis, 1938 yearbook, printed material, 1938-1940
A First Course In Differential Equations, Norman Miller, 1935
4RM55a Diplomas, 1938
2007-229/73 An Introduction to Linear Difference Equations, Paul Batchelder, 1927
Differential and Integral Calculus, Volume II, R. Courant, 1936
Advanced Calculus, Frederick S. Woods, 1926
Monographs on Topics of Modern Mathematics, J. W. A. Young, 1932
2007-229/74 Class notes, 1938-1939, undated
2007-229/75 Class notes, 1938-1939, undated
Correspondence, post-graduation materials
2007-229/76 George Birkhoff – printed material, correspondence, 1927-1939, undated
Garrett Birkhoff – correspondence, 1989
Radcliffe/Harvard publications, 1945-1956
Queen's post-graduation correspondence, publications, 1962-1992
2007-229/77 Notes, chapters 1-4, 7-10, 13-14, undated
Financial Documents
2007-229/77 Canada bank records, tax records, property documents, 1968-1984
Oklahoma records, 1966-1993
Donation receipts, correspondence, 1978-1998, undated
2007-229/78 Correspondence, 1948-1996, undated
Immediate Family
2007-229/78 Correspondence, printed material, 1954-1992, undated
2007-229/78 Speeches, printed material, meeting minutes, 1939-1995, undated
Printed material
2007-229/78 Printed material, 1976-1992, undated
Agnew's funeral – speech, OSU Memorial Resolution, 2000
2007-229/78 Notes, quotes, printed material, sewing needles, 1976-1988, undated
2007-229/79 Rock from Augustine Volcano, undated
4RM203c [SRH1230024920] Canadian calendar, 1945