1962/1963 NSF Academic Year Fellowship Grant

As a result of Sputnic there was a push to improve the teaching of science and mathematics in the late 50's and early 60's. Out of this effort there were several academic year fellowships given out by the leading universities in addition to many many summer institutes.

With the help of the flexowriter from the LGP-30This country boy decided to get into the game. There were 48 universities offering such grants for the 1962/63 academic year. All application forms were the same except where you entered the name of the institution. I cut a tape that had all the information that was required, and put a pause on the tape where you enter the name.

The Flexowriter worked very well and kept registration of the form as the various pages were entered and type. In order not to appear to have documents produced by machine, there were two errors punched on the tape. One was a misspelled word and another was the transposition of two letters in a word. As the next one was being typed, I could neately correct the previous one in order to appear to be a very carefull person.

It seemed to work.

From 5 Dec 61 to 18 Jan 62 I spent a total of 36 hours on the Flexowriter grinding out the forms, and $11.04 on postage for certified mail for returning the applications. {Letters were going for 3 cents in those days}

Acceptances were received from:

Harvard, Ohio State, Atlanta, Bowdoin, Cornell, Rutgers, Georgia, Washington, Colorado, Brown, Illinois

Placed on the Alternate list by:

Boston, South Carolina, Pennsylvania

Rejected by:

Oklahoma State, Virginia, Arizona, San Diego, Detroit, Syracuse, Bowling Green, Illinois Tech, Stanford, Texas, South Dakota, Michigan, Louisina State, Iowa State, Mississippi, North Carolina, Hawaii, Tennessee

Since I sent exactly the same application to each, I never could figure out how the selection process went. I do know that for that year I had the record for acceptances, and no-one for the 63/64 year had as many.

The grant provided money for tutition, room, books, board, and $367/month cash and you did not have to play ball on Saturday afternoon. Got to admit I liked it.

In 1962 knowledge of technology was of value. {Unfortunately for many photographers and members of the math department it consisted of knowing how to use a 20 inch slide rule as shown below.}

My year at Harvard University was a great learning experience. Classes in Logic from W.V. Quine and in mathematics from E. E. Moise & G. Birkhoff pointed out fairly quickly that while I may look good in the double A leagues I would never get to be a starter in the majors and I should begin to look for a new game. {To quote an Eastwood Film "A man should know his limits." and I found mine in mathematics and logic.}

However they did have classes in computers. As any good programmer knows it is a lot more fun to push a computer through the hoops than it is to prove some theorem in n-space.

In 1963 the radicals had not taken over any US university. I did run onto a couple that I considered to be rather "red". T. Leary was still a professor and was offering to pay any student minimun wage who would come down and drip acid in his lab. Folk Music -- which is considered to be the only lasting artifact of the CPUSA -- was just getting started at Club 47 Mt Alburn. I saw my first "peace" symbol or "chicken track" penciled on a garbage can in Harvard Square, but at that time it had a different meaning. The frisby had not been invented, but outside the law building at noon pie tins were flying around.

The Harvard library is something to behold. In the front bythe main entrance the final exams for the past decade are on public display. Anyone who says you can get just as good an education here as there should look at these and find out how the game is played in the big leagues.