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William Kolakoski Collection

 Collection
Identifier: 2011-02
The William Kolakoski Collection was received with, and is intellectually reliant on, the associated correspondence between Kimberling, Vargo, and Loretta Kolakoski, though the collection is arranged to foreground his notes and writings. The associated correspondence acts as a guide to the packets of material which were exchanged between Loretta Kolakoski and Clark Kimberling.

The collection includes notes and writings Mr. Kolakoski produced with regard to the Kolakoski Sequence and related mathematical problems, philosophy and religion, and writings produced in his final days. Correspondence relates directly to Mr. Kolakoski and his personality, and the related articles provide academic information on the Kolakoski Sequence in the field.

The collection is divided into four series: 1. Writings; 2. Biographical Records; 3. Related Correspondence; and 4. Related Articles.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1991-2002
  • 1944-2008

Creator

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder. Copyrights to the work of Willam George Kolakoski are retained by Loretta Kolakoski.

Extent

0.5 Linear feet (1 box)

Overview

The collection includes notes and writings Mr. Kolakoski produced with regard to the Kolakoski Sequence and related mathematical problems, philosophy and religion, and writings produced in his final days. Correspondence relates directly to Mr. Kolakoski and his personality, and the related articles provide academic information on the Kolakoski Sequence in the field.

Biography

William George Kolakoski was born in Pittsburgh, PA on September 17, 1944, to George and Eleanor Kolakoski. He was raised in Gibsonia, PA, and graduated from Richland Senior High School there in 1962. William received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Carnegie Institute of Technology College of Fine Arts in 1967, and after graduation remained largely unemployed due to a mental disease diagnosed as schizophrenia. He continued to paint throughout his life, as well as pursue his studies in mathematics, philosophy, and religion. He married Loretta Ellen Gwinn in 1983.

In 1965, while a student at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Kolakoski submitted an as yet unresolved math problem, known as the Kolakoski Sequence, to American Mathematical Monthly. It can be found as Problem 5304, in American Mathematical Monthly 72 (1965), 674. In 2001, Clark Kimberling began investigating William Kolakoski as a personality for an upcoming American Mathematical Monthly article on the Kolakoski Sequence, during which time he corresponded with Loretta Kolakoski and one of William’s peers, Mike Vargo. It was in the course of this correspondence that these documents were compiled. It should be noted these materials were collected post mortem, Kolakoski having died on July 26, 1997 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Provenance

William Kolakoski’s writings were held by his wife, Loretta Kolakoski, after his death. She transferred the originals that we hold to Clark Kimberling in 2001. Clark Kimberling donated all of the material in this collection to Carnegie Mellon University Archives in 2011.
Title
William Kolakoski Collection, 1991-2002
Subtitle
2011.02
Status
completed
Author
Kristofer Adam Speirs
Date
March 2011
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Archives Repository

Contact:
4909 Frew St
Pittsburgh PA 15213
(412) 268-5021