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The purpose of this web site is to describe the history of mathematics at Grand Valley State University. The links on the left serve as a guide to various topics related to the history of mathematics at Grand Valley. These links have been arranged to emphasize the history of the mathematics curriculum, the history of the mathematics major, and the history and accomplishments of the mathematics faculty at Grand Valley.
For the most part, this is a history of the Department of Mathematics at Grand Valley. However, it should not be forgotten that it was not always Grand Valley State College or Grand Valley State University. From 1969 to 1983, the institution was known as Grand Valley State Colleges. During this time, there were up to four semi-autonomous “cluster colleges” within Grand Valley State Colleges. The Department of Mathematics was in the College of Arts and Sciences, which was by far the largest of the cluster colleges. The College of Arts and Sciences had a traditional organization consisting of academic departments and was a traditional liberal arts college.
There were other smaller cluster colleges, each with its own distinctive educational philosophy. The other cluster colleges were Thomas Jefferson College, William James College, and College IV (renamed Kirkhof College in 1978). An attempt has been made to describe the mathematics (and mathematics faculty) for each of the cluster colleges. For this part of history, follow the History of the Curriculum link on the left to the Cluster Colleges link. In 1983, the cluster colleges were consolidated into one college and Grand Valley once again became Grand Valley State College. For a more detailed history of the cluster colleges at Grand Valley, go to the cluster colleges link in the History of Grand Valley section of the web site for the 50th anniversary of Grand Valley.
Another interesting facet of the history of mathematics at Grand Valley is that there was not always a Department of Mathematics.
- In From 1963 to 1969, there was a Department of Mathematics at Grand Valley State College.
- From 1969 to 1977, the Department of Mathematics was in the College of Arts and Sciences. During this time, a computer science program was being developed in the department and from 1972, a computer information systems program was being developed at William James College.
- In 1977, the department (in the College of Arts and Sciences) changed its name to the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. It remained the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science through the consolidation of cluster colleges. During this time period, the statistics program and curriculum were being developed in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
- In 1993, the department split into two separate departments: The Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.
- In 2001, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics split into the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics.