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Henry O Pollak

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., Yale University (1947)
M.A., Harvard University (1948)
Ph.D., Harvard University (1951)

Scholarly Interests

Selected Publications

professional organization membership

Mathematical Association of America, 1955 –
  • President, 1975 - 1977
  • Earle Raymond Hedrick Lecturer, 1973
  • Governor, New Jersey Section, 1961 - 1964
  • Chairman, New Jersey Section, 1959 - 1960
School Mathematics Study Group
  • Member, Advisory Board, 1961 - 1964, 1967 - 1972
  • Chairman, Advisory Board, 1963 - 1964
  • Member, Writing Team, 1958 - 1960
American Mathematical Society, 1950 -
  • Steele Prize Committee, 1978 - 1982
  • Member, AMS-MAA Committee to Facilitate Cooperation, 1967 - 1969
  • Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences
  • Chairman, 1982 - 1984
  • Member, Survey Committee, 1965 - 1975
  • Member of the Council, 1962 - 1965, 1977 - 1978
Cambridge Conference on School Mathematics
  • Member, Steering Committee, 1966 - 1968
Committee on Science and Mathematics in the State Colleges of New Jersey
  • Chairman, 1967 - 1968
National Research Council
  • Mathematical Sciences Education Board,  Member, Sept. 1985 - July 1989
  • Advisory Board of the Office of Mathematical Sciences, Nov. 1975 - June 1977
  • U.S. Commission on Mathematical Instruction, 1962 - 1966 & 1971 - 1975
  • U.S. National Committee for the International Mathematical Union, 1967 - 1970
  • Committee on Applications of Mathematics, 1964 - 1967
  • COSRIMS, Member of the Undergraduate Panel, 1967
International Commission on Mathematical Instruction, 1971 - 1974
  • Member, Executive Committee, 1972 - 1974 & 1982 – 1986
National Science Foundation
  • Advisory Committee for Science Education
    Chairman, 1978 – 1980
  • Advisory Panel to Mathematical Sciences Section, 1970 - 1973
Unified Sciences and Mathematics for the Elementary School Project Planning Board, 1969 - 1977

National Institute of Education Consultant, 1972 - 1974

Board of Trustees of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, 1978 - 1989
Executive Committee, 1979 - 1989

Board of Governors of the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, 1978 - 1981

4th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Berkeley, California, August 1980
  • Chairman, International Program Committee
  • Chairman, Executive Committee

5th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Adelaide, Australia,  August 1984    
Member of International and Core Program Committee

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Summer Institutes for Mathematics Teachers
  • Co-Director or Director, 1987-1993
  • Chairman of Planning Committee 1984-1993
Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications
  • Board of Trustees, 1988- 1997


Pollak, H. 0. and Davis, P., A Theorem for Kernel Functions, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 2 (5), pp. 686-690, October 1951.

Pollais, H. 0. and Davis, P., On an Equivalent Definition of the Transflnite Diameter, Proc. Amer Math. Soc. 3 (1), pp. 152-155. February 1952.

Pollak, H. 0. and Davis. P., On the Zeros of Total Sets of Polynomials, Trans. Amen. Math. Soc. 72 (1), pp. 82-103, January 1952.

Davis, P. and Pollak. H. 0., Linear Functionals and Analytic Continuation Problems, Pacfic J. Math. 3 (1), pp. 47-72, March 1953.

Davis, P. and Pollak, H. 0., Complex Biorthogonality for Certain Sets of Polynomials, Duke Math J. 21 (4), pp. 653-668, December 1954.

Dickinson, D. J., Pollak, H. 0., and Wannier, G. H., On a Class of Polynomials Orthogonal Ovpr a Denumerable Set, Pacific J. Math. 6, pp. 239-247, 1956.

Pollak, H. 0., A Remark on "Elementary Inequalities for Mills' Ratio" by Yusaku Komatu, StaL AppL Res. JUSE 4 (3), p. 40, 1956.

Gilbert, E. N. and Pollak, H. 0., Coincidences in Poisson Patterns, Bell Sys. Tech. J. 36, pp. 1005-1034, July 1957. Monograph 2858.

Davis, P. and Pollak, H. 0., On the Analytic Continuation of Mapping Functions, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 87, pp. 198-225, January 1958. Monograph 2993.

Pollak, H. 0., On the Future Mathematical Curriculum for Electrical Engineers, 1958 IRE National Convention Record, pp. 37-39, 1958. Part 10.

Pollak, H. 0., Mathematical Research in the Communications Industry, Pi Mu Epsilon Journal 2 (10), pp. 494-496, 1959.

Pollak, H. 0. and Frisch, H. L., The Time Lag in Diffusion III, J. Phys. Chem. 63 (6), p. 1022, June 1959. Monograph 3426.

Grenander, U., Pollak, H. 0., and Slepian, D., The Distribution of Quadratic Forms in Normal Variates: The Small Sample Theory With Applications to Spectral Analysis, J. Soc. Indust. Appt Math 7 (4), pp. 374-401, December 1959. Monograph 3646.

Pollak, H. 0. and Gilbert, E. N., Amplitude Distribution of Shot Noise, Bell Sys. Tech. J. 39 (2). pp. 333-350, March 1960. Monograph 3515.

Pollak, H. 0., Energy Distribution of Band-Limited Functions Whose Samples on a Half Line Vanish, J. Math. Anal. and AppL 2 (2), pp. 299-332, April 1961. Monograph 3924.

Pollak, H. 0. and Slepian, D., Prolate Spheroidal Wave Functions, Fourier Analysis and Uncertainty-I, Bell Sys. Tech. J. 40 (1), pp. 43-64, January 1961. Monograph 3746.

Pollak, H. 0. and Landau, H. J., Prolate Spheroidal Wave Functions, Fourier Analysis and Uncertainty-II, Bell Sys. Tech. J. 40 (1), pp. 65-84. January 1961. Monograph 3746.

Pollak, H. 0., The Role of Industrial Members in the Mathematical Association of America, Mathematical Monthly 68 (6), June-July 1961.

Pollak, H. 0. and Lewis, J. A., Photoelastic Calculations by a Complex Variable Method, J. AppL Math and Phys. (Zest Ange. Math Phys.) XII, pp. 30-37. 1961.

Landau, H. J. and Pollak, H. 0., Prolate Spheroidal Functions, Fourier Analysis and Uncertainty-III. The Dimension of the Space of Essentially Time- and Band-Limited Signals, Bell Sys. Tech. J. 41, pp. 1295-1336, July 1962. Monograph 4238.

Pollak, H. 0., The Space of Essentially Time¬and Band- Limited Signals. (Abstract), Proc. Nat Electronics Coq., p. 774, Chicago, October 1962.

Pollak, H. 0., On the Nature of Mathematical Research in Industry, Proceedings of National Youth Conference on the Atom, November 19162. Also published in J. Japan Soc. Math. Educ. 53 (11), pp. 29-33, 1971.

Pollak, H. 0., Applications of Modern Mathematics Suitable for Use in Teaching Secondary School Mathematics, pp. 220-234 in Mathematics 7bday, OECD. Paris, 1964.

Proceedings of International Working Session on New Teaching Methods for School Mathematics, Athens (November 1962; Also published as Anwendungen der modernen M& :hematik, die fur den Mathematikunterricht an SekundArschulen geeignet sand. Didaktlk derMathematijc, pp. 295-308 (1978).

Pollak, H. 0., Computing Influences in Mathematical Research, in Proceedings of the . 364 Symposium on Digital Computing, Bell Telephone Laboratories, May 1964.

Pollak, H. 0. and Shepp, L. A., The Estimation of Some Deter zinants of Toeplitz-Type, Pro- Amer Mars.. Soc., 16 (5), pp. 919-922, October, 1965.

Pollak, H. 0., Oit Individual Exploration in Mathematics Education, pp. 117-122 in The Rote of A domritics and Problem Solving in Mathemntic;; Ginn and Company. 1966.

Pollak, H. 0., On Sume of the Problems of Teaching Applications of Mathematics, Educational Studies in Mathematics 1 (1 /2), pp. 24-30, May 1968.

Gilbert, E. N. and Pollak. H. 0., Steiner Minimal Trees, SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics 16 (1), 1968.

Pollak. H. 0., Applications of Mathematics, in 69th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (Chapter 8). ed. E. G. Begle, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1969.

Pollak, H. 0., A Study of Ph.D. Thesis Supervision in the Mathematical Sciences, 1957-1963, Conf. Board Math. Sci. 2 (5), 1969.

Pollak, H. 0. and Schoenfeld. L., The Asymptotic Estimation of a Laplace Transform Arising in the Theory of Magnetoresistance, SIAMJ. Appl. Math. 17 (1), pp. 206-211, January 1969.

Pollak, H. 0., How Can We Teach Applications of Mathematics, Educational Studies in Mathematics 2, pp. 393-404, December 1969. Paper presented at First International Congress on Mathematical Education, Lyon, August 24-30. 1969. Russian translation published in Matematika v Shkole. (2). March-April, 1971.

Graham. R. L. and Pollak, H. 0., Note on a Nonlinear Recurrence Related to the Square-Root of 2, Math. Mag. 43 (3), pp. 143-145,1970.

Pollak, H. 0., On Teaching Applications of Mathematics, Proc. Int. Congress on Mathematics, pp. 353-357, Nice, France, 1970.

Graham, R. L. and Pollak, H. 0., On the Addressing Problem for Loop Switching, Bell Sys. Tech. J. 50 (8), pp. 2495-2520, 1971.

Pollak, H. 0., International Aspects of Mathematics Education, Proc. De Kalb Conf. on Math Educ., pp. 64-97, De Kalb, Illinois, 1971.

Graham, R L. and Pollak, H. 0., On Embedding Graphs in Squashed Cubes, pp. 99-110 in Graph Theory and Applications, ed. Y. Alval, D. R Lick and A. T. White, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1972. Proceedings of the Conference at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13,1972.

Lint, J. H. Van and Pollak, H. 0., An Asymmetric Contest for Properties of Arbitrary Value, Philips Research Reports 30, pp. 40-55, 1975. (Issue in honor of C. J. Bouwkamp)

Pollak, H. 0., What Industry Wants a Mathematician to Know and How We Want Them to Know It, Educational Studies in Mathematics 7, pp. 109-112, 1976.

Pollak, H. 0., The Role of Applications in Ph.D. Programs in Mathematics, Notices Amer. Math Soc. 23 (3). pp. 158-164, April 1976. Transcript of August 21, 1975 panel discussion.

Baker, W. O.. Brown, W. S., Mathews. M. V., Morgan, S. P., Pollak, H. 0., Prim, R C., and Sternberg, S.. Computers and Research, Science 195, pp. 1134-1139, March 1977. Also pp. 56-61 in Elec Tonics: The Continuing Revolution, ed. P. H. Abelson and A. L. Hammond. AAAS, 1977.

Pollak, H. 0., The Interaction Between Mathematics and Other School Subjects, in New Trends In Ma wmatics Teaching (Chapter XII), Vol. W, 1977.

Pollak, H. 0., The Relationship Between Mathematics and Its Applications, Proc. Corif on Mathematics in &ther Subjects, open University. Milton Keyes. England, March 1977.

Pollak, H. 0., Hand leld C aulators and Potential Rede vign of the School Mathematics Curriculum, The Mathematics Teacher 70 (4), pp. 293-296, April 1977.

Pollak, H. 0., Some Remarks on the Steiner Problem, J. Comb. Theory Series A 24 (3), pp. 278-295, May 1978.

Coffman, E. G.. Gelenbe, E., Pollak.. H. O., and Wood, R., An Analysis of Parallel-Read, Sequential-Write Systems, Performance Evaluation 1, pp. 62-69, 'orth-Holland, 1981.

Also Proceeding- j. .international Symposium on Performance Evaluation, Toronto, 1980.
Fishburn, P. C., and Pollak, H. 0., Fixed-Route Cost Allocation, Amer. Math Monthly 90 (6), pp. 252-253, June-July 1983.

Pollak, H. O., Mathematics in American Schools, pp. 25-29 in School Mathematics:
Options for the 1990s. Volume 2: Proceedings of the Conference, ed. T. A. Romberg and D. M. Stewart, NCTM, Reston, Virginia, June 1984. Paper presented at School Mathematics: Options for the 1990s. Madison, Wisconsin, December 5-8, 1983.

Pollak, H. O., The Effects of Technology on the Mathematics Curriculum, Proceedings of Fifth International Confererse on Mathematical Education, Adelaide, Australia, August 1984.

Johnson, D. S. and Pollak, H. O., Hypergraph Planarity and the Complexity of Drawing Venn Diagrams, Colloquium Mathematica Societatis Janos Bolyai 44, pp. 241-249, 1984. Also Journal of Graph Theory, vol. 11, #3, pp. 309-325 (1987).

Pollak, H. 0., Pure and Applied Mathematics from an Industrial Perspective,
Proceedings of New Directions tnApplied and Computational Mathematics Conference,
Springer. New York. 1986. Paper presented at New Directions in Applied and Computational Mathematics Conference. Laramie, Wyoming, 1985. Also UMAP Journal. Vol. 7, #3, 1987.

Pollak, H. O., A Mathematician's Perspective, in Cognitive Science and Mathematics Eaton, ed. A. H. Schoenfeld, Lawrence Eribaum Associates, Paper presented at Cognitive Science and Mathematics Education Meeting in Rochester, NY, December 1984.

Fishburn, P. C. and Pollak, H. 0., Proportional Allocation Schemes for Tour Costs, European J. of Operations Research, 31, 1987, pp. 24-30.

Pollak, H. O. Recent Applications of Mathematics and Their Relevance to Teaching, Chapter 3 of Application and Modelling in Learning and Teaching Mathematics, W. Blum et al. editors, Ellis Horwood Ltd., 1989.

Pollak. H. O. Where Are Mathematics, Applications of Mathematics, and Technology Going, and What Does This Mean for the Universities? The Balomenos Lectures, Univ. of New Hampshire, 1988.

Pollak, H O., Employer Expectation for School Mathematics, Connect, vol. 6, #2, 1992.

Pollak, H. O., “Decimals into Fractions”, 1996 Yearbook of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics, pp. 39-44.

Articles for "Consortium": Henry's Corner. Published by COMAP

Issue 67, Fall 1998: Here is a Curve-Is it a Piece of a Parabola?

Issue 68, Winter, 1998: Raking s Leaves

Issue 69, Spring 1999: The Postage Stamp Problem

Issue 70, Sumier 1999: How to Make a Log Table: A Flagrant Exercise in Atavism

Issue 72, Winter 1999: Ptolemy's Theorem

Issue 74, Summer 2000: Score Thoughts on Applications of Polynomials

Issue 76, Winter 2000: What--More Logarithms?

Issue 77, Spring 2001: The ABCs of Point Count Systems

Issue 79, Fall 2001: A Mathematical Model of Air Defense

Issue 83, Fall/Winter 2002: That's a Wrap

Issue 84, Spring/Summer 2003: Tunnel Vision 

Issue 85, Fall/Winter 2003: Hanging Pictures

Issue 86, Spring/Sunner 2004: Wy does a truck so often get underpass

Issue 87, Fall/Winter 2004: A Bouncing Ball

Issue 88, Spring/Summer 2004  Drawing a triangle

Issue 89, Fall/Winter 2005  How to Build a Box (with Landy Godbold)

Issue 90, Spring/Summer 2006, Postcard Collecting

Issue 91, Fall/Winter 2006: Baseball

Issue 92, Spring/Summer  2007  Decimals Into Fractions

Issue 93, Fall/Winter 2007  Cycling of Expenses

Issue 94, Spring/Summer 2008, Quadratics that Factor, Perhaps too Easily

Issue 95, Fall/Winter 2008, Decimals into Fractions Part II.  A further A;gebraic and Geometric Exploration

Pollak, H. O. Real World Problems: Bad, Good, and Whimsical, in Activating Mathematical Talent, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Monograph Series Vol. 1, 2003, pp. 57 - 65

Shoaf, M.M., Pollak, H.O., and Schneider, J., Math Trails, in Activating Mathematical Talent, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Monograph Series Vol. 1, 2003, pp. 66 - 72.

Pollak, H. O. A History of the Teaching of Modeling, Chapter 16 in A History of School Mathematics, G.M.A. Stanic and J. Kilpatrick, editors, National Council of Teaches of Mathematics, 2003, pp. 647 - 671.

Pollak, H. O. The Beginnings of a Mathematical Model of Mathematics Education, in Mathematikunterricht om Spannungsfeld von Evolution and Evaluation, Festschrift fur Werner Blum, Verlag franzbecker , 2005, pp. 119 - 125.

Pollak, H.O., Mathematical Modelling - A Conversation with Henry Pollak, Chapter 11.8 of ICMI Study Volume, Springer Verlag, 2006, in press. Video and Printed Text

Video: H. O. Pollak, Some Mathematics of Baseball, Selected Lectures in Mathematics, Pi Mu Epsilon J. Sutherland Frame Lecture, Orono, Maine, August 1991. American Mathematical Society, 1993

Book: Mary Margaret Shoaf, Henry Pollak, Joel Schneider, Math Trails, COMAP 2004, ISBN 0-912843-76-4. (Note: Noone has ever seen this. )

MSTM 5034: Topics in analysis

Real or complex functions and their properties. Doctoral students should register for MSTM 6034.

MSTM 5036: Topics in discrete mathematics

Discrete mathematics, combinatorics, graph theory.

MSTM 5800: Mathematics colloquium

Lecture series featuring presentations by distinguished guest speakers.

MSTM 5801: Mathematics colloquium

Lecture series featuring presentations by distinguished guest speakers.

MSTM 6034: Advanced topics in analysis

Open only to doctoral students. Advanced study of real or complex functions.

MSTM 6036: Advanced topics in discrete mathematics

Open only to doctoral students. Advanced study of discrete mathematics, combinatorics, and graph theory.