University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the G. A. Hedlund Papers, 1941-1945, 2008

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hedlund, G. A.
Title: G. A. Hedlund Papers
Dates: 1941-1945, 2008
Abstract: The papers consist of six of Hedlund’s spiral-bound notebooks, written from 1942 to 1945
Accession No.: 2010-079
Extent: 0.5 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Gustav Arnold Hedlund (1904-1993) was born in Somerville, Massachusetts. Hedlund is known as one of the founders of symbolic and topological dynamics.

Hedlund received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1925, his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1928, his Ph.D in 1930 from Harvard, where his advisor was Marston Morse, and was bestowed with an honorary master’s degree from Yale University in 1948. His teaching appointments included Bryn Mawr, the University of Virginia, and Yale University (1948-1972), his longest appointment, where he was the Philip Schuyler Beebee Professor of Mathematics from 1949 until his retirement in 1972; he chaired the Mathematics Department 1949-1959. Hedlund was a fellow at Yale's Branford College and, after his retirement had a visiting professorship at Wesleyan University. In addition to these appointments, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (1933-1934, 1938-1939, 1953-1954).

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of six of Hedlund’s spiral-bound notebooks, written between 1942 and 1945, from a series of graduate courses on topological dynamics Hedlund taught at the University of Virginia during that period. Also in the papers are two letters between Hedlund and Marston Morse in 1941 concerning symbolic dynamics, and a reprint of an article co-written by one of Hedlund’s Ph.D. students, Ethan Coven, tracing the beginnings of modern symbolic dynamics to a 1944 paper written by Hedlund.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.


Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access

Use Restrictions

This collection is stored remotely at CDL. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Coven, Ethan.
Hedlund, Gustav Arnold, 1904-
Morse, Marston, 1892-1977
Symbolic dynamics.
Topological dynamics.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

G. A. Hedlund Papers, 1941-1945, 2008, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Carol Mead, June 2010.

Detailed Description of the Papers


Series 1. Notebooks

2010-079/1 Untitled (3), Dec. 1942, 1945?
“Topological Dynamics II,” Nov. 10, 1945
“Topological Dynamics III,” Dec. 29, 1945


Series 2. Correspondence

2010-079/1 Letters (2) between Hedlund and Morse, 1941


Series 3. Publications by others

2010-079/1 Reprint: “On the Genesis of Symbolic Dynamics as We Know It,” by Ethan M. Coven and Zbigniew H. Nitecki, Colloquium Mathematicum, vol. 110, no. 2, 2008