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W.E. Milne Collection, 1905-1981

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: W.E. Milne Collection, 1905-1981

ID: MSS Milne

Primary Creator: Milne, William Edmund (1890-)

Extent: 0.8 cubic feet

Languages of Materials: English [eng], Russian [rus]


The W.E. Milne Collection documents Milne's mathematics research and consists primarily of Milne's research publications. Milne headed the Mathematics Department at Oregon State College from 1932 to 1955 and was a pioneer in numerical analysis and computer mathematics.

Scope and Content Notes

The W.E. Milne Collection consists primarily of mathematical publications (including reprints) by Milne. It also includes reprints of publications by others sent to Milne; a portrait photograph of Milne; and the final page of the console printer log from the OS-3 Operating System on the Control Data Corp. 3300 computer which served Oregon State University from 1965 until 1981.

Of particular note among Milne's publications is the 1953 Russian translation of his publication, Numerical Solutions of Differential Equations.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Mathematics Professor William Edmund (Ted) Milne headed the Mathematics Department at Oregon State College from 1932 until 1955.

Born in Pendleton, Oregon, Milne earned an A.B. degree in Mathematics from Whitman College in 1912 and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1913 and 1915. He served on the faculty of Bowdoin College from 1915 until 1918 and then spent one year during World War I working with a group of mathematicians at Aberdeen Proving Ground on problems of ballistic path calculations. In 1919 he returned to Oregon as a faculty member in mathematics at the University of Oregon. In 1932, he became head of the Mathematics Department at Oregon State College, a position he held until his retirement in 1955. In 1950-1951, he held a substitute position in the National Bureau of Standards Institute for Numerical Analysis.

Milne was a pioneer in numerical analysis and computer mathematics and was known around the world for the "Milne method" of solving differential equations and for his three textbooks and many technical papers. He continued his research after retirement and was awarded the OSU Distinguished Service Award posthumously in June 1971. The Milne Computer Center was dedicated in his name in April 1972.

Administrative Information

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: These materials were transferred to the Archives from the Milne Computer Center in 1996.

Related Materials: The Mathematics Department Records (RG 136) include Milne's general correspondence from the 1930s. A detailed history of the Milne Family is available in the OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC) file "MC - Milne, W.E. and Bessie, Family History".

Preferred Citation: W.E. Milne Collection (MSS Milne), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before Decemeber 11, 2015.


Milne, William Edmund (1890-)

People, Places, and Topics

Differential equations--Numerical solutions
Mathematics--Study and teaching--Oregon

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.