This collection includes twenty interviews with faculty and former faculty members of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana, Missoula. The interviews were conducted between 1999 and 2007 by Charles Myers, Daniel Finch, Varoujan Bedros, Johnny Lott, and Merrie Rampy. The interviewees discuss the history of the Department and their teaching experiences. They also track changes in mathematical education, the introduction and evolution of mathematical technology, the creation of the Department’s PhD program, and trends in students pursuing a mathematics degree. The original interviews are held as Oral History collection OH 412 at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of MontanaMissoula.
This collection includes 20 interviews.

Brian Steele Interview, December 2, 1999
Brian Steele
Brian Steele discusses his recent arrival to the University of Montana, Missoula as an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Steele describes his background in biological sciences and forest service, his research using both mathematics and biology, and his career goals.

Charles Bryan Interview, January 6, 2007
Charles Bryan
Charles Bryan discusses teaching at Arizona State University before coming to teach at the University of Montana, Missoula in 1966. He describes serving as the chairman of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, leaving fulltime teaching in 1987, and the warm relationships that exist among the faculty. Bryan also discusses changes he has seen in the Department and his research in numerical analysis.

David Patterson Interview, circa 1999
David Patterson
David Patterson discusses his academic and professional career as a mathematician. He describes teaching at the University of Montana, Missoula, as well as the growth he has witnessed in the Department of Mathematical Sciences since he started in 1985. Patterson also discusses multidisciplinary projects he has participated in, the future of mathematics, and his favorite activities in the Missoula, Montana area.

Don O. Loftsgaarden Interview, February 10, 2000
Don O. Loftsgaarden
Don Loftsgaarden, a fulltime professor of mathematics at the University of Montana, Missoula for thirtytwo years, discusses the changes he has seen in the Department of Mathematical Sciences during his tenure, including the introduction of computers to the mathematics field and the direction of studies in applied statistics. Loftsgaarden also describes his academic associations and publications.

George McRae Interview, December 6, 1999
George McRae
George McRae discusses his academic background before coming to teach at the University of Montana, Missoula. He describes receiving a National Science Foundation fellowship and going to the University of Washington, Seattle to complete his Ph. D. work, as well as his time teaching at the University of Illinois, ChampaignUrbana. McRae compares his experiences at different universities, discusses the atmosphere on college campuses during the student civil rights and war protests of the 1960s, and describes his work in the development of the field of computer science.

Gloria Hewitt Interview, May 12, 2006
Gloria Hewitt
Gloria Hewitt discusses coming to teach at the University of Montana, Missoula in 1961, becoming one of the first AfricanAmerican professors at the University. She describes her tenure as Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, changes to the mathematics building, and politics within the department. She also discusses working with the Association of Women in Mathematics.
Only a transcript of this interview exists. The audio was never received.

Gregory St. George Interview, November 8, 1999
Gregory St. George
Gregory St. George discusses his initial difficulty trying to obtain a faculty position at a university and his decision to stay at his alma mater, the University of Montana, Missoula. He describes his educational background growing up in Massachusetts, changes he has seen in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and the Missoula, Montana community.

Howard Reinhardt Interview, December 7, 1999
Howard Reinhardt
Howard Reinhardt discusses growing up during the Great Depression and being drafted into the United States Army toward the end of World War II in 1945. He describes his academic journey, becoming a professor of mathematics at the University of Montana, Missoula in 1957, and the changes he has seen in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, such as the establishment of the Ph. D. program and changes to the undergraduate curriculum. Reinhardt also discusses the introduction of new technologies into mathematical studies.

James Hirstein Interview, October 29, 1999
James Hirstein
James Hirstein discusses his educational background and working in the education of mathematics. He describes how a desire to live in the American West brought him to the University of Montana, Missoula, his research, and changes he has seen in the Department of Mathematical Sciences since his arrival to the Department. Hirstein also gives his opinion on using the Hilbert’s List to direct the thinking of mathematics education.

Johnny W. Lott Interview, February 8, 2000
Johnny W. Lott
Johnny W. Lott discusses his early influences in mathematics and coming to the University of Montana, Missoula as a visiting professor before deciding to work for the University permanently. He describes the establishment of operations research in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, his focus on mathematics education, and working with the Systemic Initiative for Montana Mathematics and Science (SIMMS) and the National Council of Teachers of Math Projects.

Jonathan Graham Interview, December 6, 1999
Jonathan Graham
Jonathan Graham discusses working as a mathematics professor at the University of Montana, Missoula, and the friendliness of the staff in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. He describes his motivation for pursuing a career in mathematics and the trend toward more broad undergraduate degrees. Graham also describes his favorite parts about teaching.

Keith Yale Interview, November 12, 1999
Keith Yale
Keith Yale discusses his experiences working with Hans Albert Einstein while completing his Ph. D. at the University of California, Berkley and his experiences as a professor at the University of Montana, Missoula. Native to Montana, Yale describes his reasoning for choosing a career in his home state, changes to the Department of Mathematical Sciences since his arrival, and his publication history. Yale also discusses the Hilbert’s List and how it relates to the direction that mathematic courses and education are taking.

Leonid Kalachev Interview, November 5, 1999
Leonid Kalachev
Leonid Kalachev discusses the degrees he received in Russia, members of the faculty in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana, Missoula, his publications, and his belief that the best asset to the Department is its people.

Mary Jean Brod Interview, December 12, 1999
Mary Jean Brod
Mary Jean Brod discusses her career at the University of Montana, Missoula teaching intermediate algebra to nontraditional students, a position made permanent through the Enrichment Program. Brod also describes her work with Native American Mathematics, being an advisor of the Math Club, and the growing demand for developmental mathematics.

Merle Manis Interview, January 6, 2007
Merle Manis
Merle Manis describes growing up in Charlo, Montana and receiving his Ph. D. in Mathematics from the University of Oregon before arriving at the University of Montana, Missoula in 1965. He describes how his Master’s Degree was funded by the National Science Foundation after the Russian launch of Sputnik, and Manis gives his opinions on the Department of Mathematical Sciences graduate programs, the state of mathematics education and curriculum, and students pursuing mathematics degrees.

Richard Billstein Interview, November 10, 1999
Richard Billstein
Richard Billstein discusses receiving his M. A. and Ed. D. in Mathematical Education at the University of Montana, Missoula before becoming a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1972. He describes working with the teacher training program, where he focused on curriculum development for middle schools, and new technology being utilized in the mathematics field. Billstein also describes the benefits of working at a smaller university and his experiences working with students over the years.

Robert McKelvey Interview, February 10, 2000
Robert McKelvey
Robert McKelvey discusses coming to the University of Montana, Missoula in 1970 to work on the application of mathematics in regards to natural resource research. He describes his part in establishing the Ph. D. in mathematics program, his multidisciplinary collaborations, his publications, and the advantages and drawbacks of teaching at a smaller university.

Rudy Gideon Interview, circa 1999
Rudy Gideon
Rudy Gideon discusses working for the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana, Missoula. He describes his interest in statistics, his publications, the future of mathematical research, and trends he has seen in students pursuing degrees in mathematics

William Ballard Interview, November 11, 1999
William Ballard
William Ballard discusses joining the Department of Mathematical Sciences faculty at the University of Montana, Missoula in 1957, desiring to teach somewhere in the Rocky Mountain West. He describes fortytwo years of change within the Department, including the strengthening of course offerings, the establishment of the Ph. D. program, and the change from a quarter system to a semester system of classes. Ballard also discusses his research, where his concentration is in algebra and number theory.

William Myers, Jr. Interview, circa 1999
William Myers Jr.
William Myers, Jr. discusses working for the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana, Missoula. He describes his interest in numerical analysis, the changing role of technology in mathematical research, and the evolution of course curriculum and class content.