Story From Bev West

On Feb 23, 2021, at 2:54 PM, Beverly Henderson West wrote:

Ah Dick,

This is a crazy time for me, as we are in the final stages of publishing a special issue of the CODEE Journal (Engaging Learners: Differential Equations in Today’s World). And especially now, video making is not “my thing”.

But of course I am intrigued by your subject! I went upstairs where I have cabinets and boxes full of files, hoping to find the letter where Nerode asked me to set up the MSC. No luck! The best I found was a statement, also from Nerode, but undated (likely about 1984), to the effect that I had “run the math support center for calculus for a number of years”. I also found that, in Summer 1981, I had received a grant from the Dean’s office for directing writing of Capsules for the Math Support Center, with student assistants King Chan, Ken Gardner, Kristen Jackson, Ann Michel, and Ken Okamoto.

By 1990 I wrote in a letter to Keith Dennis as Chairman that “Originally I received salary for running the Mathematics Support Center, but after a few years, I relinquished that position in order to teach and write".

My fuzzy memory recalls that we hired Cindy Davis (an enthusiastic former 213 student) to run it, and we had various non-students as sort of senior tutors — I recall, at various times, good friends such as Chris Rodrigo, Scott Bayer, Leon Harkelroad, and Dick Furnas (!). When Doug Alfors was a student in one of my classes (213?) I found he had been involved with such a center in Oswego, so he became our next glorious leader (I know not the date), and the rest is history…

I am not “cleared” to go into Malott, so it does not look easy for me to go further. Darn! There must be a box or file there for MSC. Or, possibly, I gave it to Doug and it’s now in the MSC — I have a dim memory of something like that after I retired and moved my office files to Jim’s office. If you find such a history box, let me know! I’d be more than happy to provide some history scraps. I will look to see if I have some photos, but most of those I remember are for things like Analyzer*, or for Delta-Epsilon Software.

Currently it is my understanding that you have done a terrific job of carrying on, adapting, expanding, etc. So I hope and trust your video will be a good testimony to that.

Take care, and stay well —

Best, Bev

-- Dick Furnas - 2021-05-08

Topic revision: r1 - 2021-05-08 - DickFurnas
 
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