Thursday, November 19, 2020 6:30 pm EST
The Applied Mathematics Panel (AMP) was established in late 1942 to provide mathematical expertise to the divisions of the National Defense Research Committee. It employed academic mathematicians at several sites. Hassler Whitney, then at Harvard, joined the group at Columbia working on questions concerning fire control systems, that is, systems which control the aiming of weaponry, especially on aircraft and rockets. His involvement was typical of the problems handled by the AMP. I will discuss some of his work from its inception to its presentation and reception by the military engaged in aerial warfare. This talk is based on documents found in the US National Archives.