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