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Joseph Blum Papers

VOLUME: 1.5 linear feet

ACCESS: This collection is open to the public upon request.

COPYRIGHT: Please consult the archivist for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.

Biographical Note

A graduate of City College of New York with a BS degree, Dr. Joseph Blum received his masters and doctorate degrees from George Washington University. In 1950, Blum joined the United States Defense Department, National Security Agency, after holding posts at the Department of the Interior, Department of Army, and National Bureau of Standards. In his capacity at the NSA, he helped develop that institution’s computer systems.

Blum retired from the NSA in 1975, and became a computer science professor for American University for 12 years, retiring from the University in 1987. He continued to teach, taking a position for a year in an Armed Forces educational program in Germany. He also taught a variety of courses with the American University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement.

He died on April 10, 2002. He was 83 years old.

Scope and Content Note

The Joseph Blum papers document aspects of Blum’s teaching career, particularly at American University, as well as some biographical information. The papers primarily focus on course documents, particularly those courses taught for the Institute for Learning in Retirement, as well as writings in the form of book chapters, articles and general mathematical notes. Blum’s work with the Mathematical Sciences Speaker Program from 1963-1968, and the United Seniors Health Cooperative from 1990-1993, are also included.

The collection contains biographical material in the form of a curriculum vitae and memos of contributions (1975-1987) and American University annual reports and contributions (1975-1982); course materials in the form of chapter notes and handouts (1983; 1996-1999); general mathematical notes; documents relating to his work with the Mathematical Sciences Speaker Program (1963-1968) and the United Seniors Health Cooperative (1990-1993); and writings in the form of lectures and book chapters (1973-2001). One Eva-Tone recording is found in the United Seniors Health Cooperative file.

Processing Note

The Joseph Blum papers were arranged alphabetically according to subject and/or document type. The files were sorted into the following groups: American University, biographical information, course documents, projects, and writings. Original file labels were maintained for coherence. All staples, paper clips, and bindings were removed. Newspaper clippings were photocopied and the originals discarded.

Box & Folder Listing

Box 1

  • American University
    • Annual Reports, 1975-1982 - See also: Biographical-Curriculum Vitae
    • Contributions to AU, 1975-1980
  • Biographical
    • Contributions to Community, 1975-1981
    • Curriculum Vitae, 1977-1987
  • Courses
    • Institute for Learning in Retirement
      • Arithmetic Algebra, 1999
      • Astronomy, 1999
      • Geology, Fall 1998
      • Highlights from the History of Mathematics, Spring 1999
      • Mathematical Excursions, 1999
      • Statistics, Spring 1996
    • Microcomputer Architecture, 1983 (2 folders)
    • Physics, N.D.
    • UMD Course in Ramstein, GE, 1987
  • [Mathematical Notes] General
  • Mathematical Sciences Speaker Program, 1963-1968
  • United Seniors Health Cooperative, 1990-1993
  • Writings
    • All the Numbers, 2001-2005
    • Applications of the Optical Fourier Transform to the Analysis of Congruential Number Generators, 1975
    • Correlation by Power Spectrum Techniques with an Application to a Problem in Signal Analysis, Turpin and Blum, November 1973
    • Notes on Combinations: Theory and Applications, 1986
    • Notes on Concepts of Modern Physics, 1987
    • Secrets of Numbers
      • Chapter 1
      • Chapter 2
      • Chapter 3
      • Chapter 4