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Archival description
Alexander Wittenberg fonds
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ACFAS

File consists of correspondence with the 'Association Canadienne Francaise pour l'avancement des sciences'

Abel, Berlin

File consists of correspondence with Welther Abel, director of the Gymnasium zu Berilin-Steglitz with regards to Wittenberg's visit. The file also consists two publications about the history of the Gymnasium and an itinerary for a trip to Israel, September-October 1960

Academic and administrative files

Series consists of materials pertaining to Wittenberg’s life as an academic. While the Laval University-related materials consists mostly of course work and administrative matters, the York University files reflect a much more active and engaged involvement in University life and in questions of institutional governance and vision.

Alexander Wittenberg fonds

  • F0747
  • Fonds
  • [1940?]-1970

Fonds consists of records created and maintained by Alexander Israel Wittenberg, pertaining to his career as a mathematician, university professor and researcher of mathematical education, mathematical philosophy and general educational policies. The fonds includes Wittenberg’s correspondence with leading scientists, mathematicians and education specialists from across Europe and North America, reflecting his involvement with research pertaining to these issues, as well as to various other initiatives, debates and policy discussions. Other series in the fonds contain records relating to the academic courses that Wittenberg developed and taught and his involvement with the governance of York University during his tenure as a faculty member and which attest to his vision regarding the University’s future pedagogical direction; records from his time as a student in Zurich; most of his scholarly output and public engagements since the late 1940s and until his death in 1965; and some sound recordings containing radio broadcasts made by Wittenberg. The fonds also contains several personal records of both Wittenberg and his close family members, as well as photographs and newspaper clippings.

Upon his death, Wittenberg left behind him several unfinished projects. Amongst these are two manuscripts, the first, titled “Education: the unfulfilled promise,” is based on a series of lectures that he broadcasted on CBC radio during March and April 1965. The second manuscript, “Number – a case study in knowledge,” is based on an interdisciplinary mathematical-philosophical course that Wittenberg delivered to first- and second-year students at York University. Also included in the collection are initial notes and drafts relating to two other projects that Wittenberg was planning: a biography of Albert Einstein whom he perceived as a symbol for the ability to successfully combine scientific excellence with strong and unbending moral values, and a university-level textbook on vector algebra.

Wittenberg, Alexander Israël

Arbeitsplan

Item is an undated work plan on future projects, including a section on a plan to write about Albert Einstein.

Audio materials

Series consists of seven audio reels containing lectures titled 'Education: the unfulfilled promise' which were broadcast on CBC Radio, as well as eight other audio recordings associated with Wittenberg’s research.

Audio tapes

File consists of six audio tapes, numbered 1-6, kept in a York University envelope.

Barber

File consists of correspondence with Bernard Barber, sociologist, Columbia University.

Bernays

File consists of correspondence with mathematician Paul Bernays, one of Wittenberg's PhD advisors.

Biemel

File consists of a letter from R. Biemel, Secretary of Centre d'etudes du processus d'apprentissage en mathematique, Paris, France, and newsletters from the centre.

Bildung & Mathematik

File consists of newspaper clippings, reviews and letters regarding the book. File consists also of several drawings of geometric shapes that appeared in the book.

Bildung & Mathematik

File consists of newspaper clippings, reviews and letters regarding the book. File consists also of several drawings of geometric shapes that appeared in the book.

Birkhauser

File consists of correspondence with Swiss publishing house Birkhauser re: Wittenberg's book "Vom denken in Begriffen". The file consists also of correspondence with other publishers regarding the book.

Bruner

File consists of correspondence with psychologist, Professor Jerome Bruner. The file also includes two articles: one, author unnamed "The learning of mathematics", the second, by Jerome Bruner and Rose Olver is titled "The development of equivalence transformations in children".

C.B.C. Education #1

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's first of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on 6 April 1965.

C.B.C. Education #2

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's second of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on April 13, 1965.

C.B.C. Education #3

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's third of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on April 20, 1965.

C.B.C. Education #4

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's fourth of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on April 27, 1965.

C.B.C. Education #5

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's fifth of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on May 4, 1965.

C.B.C. Education #6

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's sixth of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on May 11, 1965.

C.B.C. Education #7

Item is an audio reel containing Wittenberg's seventh of seven talks on CBC radio - 'Education: the unfulfilled promise', broadcast on May 18, 1965.

CAUT

File consists of correspondence with the Canadian Association of University Teachers re: Wittenberg's work at Laval University.

Calandra

File consists of correspondence with Professor. Alexander Calandra regarding math and science curriculum at schools.

Canadian Jewish Congress

File consists of various correspondence with the CJC regarding lectures and Jewish schools in Canada. Files contains two CJC publications: "Brief submitted by the Canadian Jewish Congress to the Royal commission of inquiry on education, March 1962" and "The place of the Jew in the public school system of Montreal". There are several more CJC correspondence in the 'York-Varia' file.

Coleman

File consists of correspondence with Professor John Coleman re: general education and the teaching of mathematics.

Cooley

File consists of correspondence with Professor William Cooley re: the latter's articles on scientific education.

Correspondence

Series consists of personal and professional correspondence with leading scientists, mathematicians and education specialists from across Europe and North America. As Wittenberg did not maintain copies of his letters, for the most part the series only contains the incoming letters. The series includes correspondence with scholars such as Paul Bernays, Alexander Calandara, Tatiana Ehrenfest Afanasyeva, Ferdinand Gonseth, Ahron Katchalsky (Katzir), Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Georges Polya, Michael Polanyi and many other colleagues and acquaintances. There are several files pertaining to Wittenberg’s involvement with councils, associations and other initiatives that aimed to promote mathematical and scientific education across Canada and North America. The series also contains materials of more personal nature pertaining to matters such as trips, children schools, post-Holocaust restitution claims, and involvement in Canadian Jewish community life.

Critchley

File consists of correspondence with Prof. MacDonald Critchley, British Neurologist, re: mathematical thinking.

Davis

File consists of correspondence with William G. Davis, Minister of Education re: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

Documents

File consists of various personal documents of both Wittenberg and other family members including passports, membership cards, Vaccination certificates, Canadian citizenship certificate.

Documents

File consists of various personal documents of both Wittenberg and other family members including passports, membership cards, Vaccination certificates, Canadian citizenship certificate.

ENS

File consists of various correspondence regarding an initiative to establish a dedicated school for the training of math teachers.

ETH

File consists of correspondence with the Zurich ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) from which Wittenberg obtained his PhD.

ETHIK

File consists of a copy of an address made by US Judge Earl Warren re: ethic advisors and some newspaper clippings about the address.

Ehrenfest

File consists of correspondence with mathematician Tatiana Ehrenfest Afanasyeva, Holland.

Eichelberg

File consists of correspondence with Professor G. Eichelberg, Switzerland. File includes two publications by Eichelberg.

Exchange

File consists of materials pertaining to the founding conference of EPIC - Exchange for Political Ideas in Canada.

Foundations

File consists of correspondence with various foundations re: grants. The file includes Wittenberg's CV and several cover letters describing his work and worldviews.

Gonseth

File consists of correspondence with Swiss Mathematician Professor Ferdinand Gonseth. Gonseth was one of Wittenberg's PhD advisors.

Gonseth I

File consists of Wittenberg's notes from a course with Ferdinand Gonseth.

Gonseth II

File consists of Wittenberg's notes from a course with Ferdinand Gonseth.

Grene

File consists of correspondence with Marjorie Green (also spelled Grene), American philosopher.

Hirsch

File consists of correspondence with Belgian mathematician Professor Guy Hirsch.

Holmes

File consists of correspondence with Professor of education Brian Holmes, University College London.

Holton

File consists of correspondence with Professor Gerald Holton, department of Physics, Harvard University.

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