Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 10:43:22 -0400
From: Robert Jantzen

Nearly 50 years ago PAW published what it proudly announced as its longest and best feature article to date describing the history of the Princeton University math department through the mid-fifties. In the mid-eighties one of the figures in that article, Albert Tucker, department head at the time of the original article and Ph.D. advisor of Nobel laureate John Nash *50, was moved to preserve the history of an important and exciting decade for Princeton mathematics, the thirties, during much of which the newly established Institute for Advanced Study shared quarters with the math department in the old Fine Hall, now Jones Hall. With William Aspray and Frederik Nebecker and important help from Charles Gillispie, an oral history project was completed interviewing many of the participants from that period who were still alive then.

This past year both the oral history project and documents describing the background of the story and some later followup materials (including that PAW article) were put on-line as part of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library [ ], where they may be enjoyed by anyone with some interest in the history of science. However, the decades of the forties and fifties have few supporting documents to fill in the picture afterwards. Knowledge of such documents that can be referred to at the site or put on-line to preserve Princeton's unique history in this area before it is lost are invited from anyone who has some connection to it.

Robert Jantzen, '74
radnor, pa 19087