Skip to content

Professor Alan Treleven James (1924-2013)
Papers 1950-2013

MSS 0173

Biographical Note

Alan Treleven JamesBorn in Berri, South Australia, in 1924, Alan Treleven James was the youngest child of litigant and dried fruit merchant, Frederick Alexander James and Rachel May James. Alan James attended the Glen Osmond Primary School and later won the Samuel Fiddian scholarship to attend Prince Alfred College. In 1944 he completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Adelaide and a Masters of Science in 1949.

Alan James' first professional job with CSIR, now CSIRO, included teaching throughout his early twenties at The University of Adelaide. During a posting to CSIR in Canberra he met a colleague, Cynthia, who would become is wife in 1950. Shortly afterwards, Alan James was awarded a CSIRO studentship to study at Princeton University, New Jersey, where he completed his PhD in 1952. Alan James and Cynthia returned to Adelaide and their first two children, Michael and Stephen, were born.

Alan James continued to work for CSIRO until 1958, when he resigned to take up a one year teaching position at Yale University in Connecticut. He progressed to full professorship and he and Cynthia had two more sons, Andrew and Nicholas.

In 1965, Alan James and his family returned to Adelaide again, where he took on the role of Chair of Mathematical Statistics at The University of Adelaide. Although he retired from the University in 1989, Alan James continued his research activities for many years. In fact, he was awarded the 1992 Pitman Medal of the Statistical Society of Australia in recognition of his outstanding achievement and contribution to statistics, particularly in the field of multivariate analysis.

James Family Picnic at Belair 1967. Cynthia, Alan, Michael, Nicholas, Andrew and StephenAlan James also loved to travel through the Australian outback and took his family on many adventurous car trips to Maree and beyond. On one trip, the family's station wagon would become stuck in floods south of Innamincka for a week. He also loved to make wine and to dry fruit, following in the footsteps of his father's profession.

Alan James was an active church-goer for most of his life and a member of the St John's Anglican Church since 1980. He served on the Parish Council and the boards of the St John's Youth Services and the Magdelene Centre.

In 2002, Alan James was diagnosed with cancer. Although ongoing treatments won him several years of remission, he died of a heart attack on 7th March 2013, after a period of deteriorating health.  He is survived by his wife, four children and nine grandchildren.

Alan James' publications include approximately forty research papers, those published in the Annals of Mathematics between 1954 and 1961, laying the foundation for much of his later work in multivariate analysis, as well as for the work of many others.

Adapted from Alan James' eulogy, 2013.

The papers of Alan James were donated to Rare Books and Special Collections by his wife, Cynthia James, in October 2013.


Contents Listing

Series 1: Biographical

1.1 Curriculum vitae, bibliography (undated)
Copy of curriculum vitae, including bibliography. See also Series 2.1 Correspondence - Individuals (H. Oliver Lancaster), for more detailed bibliography and Series 2.2 Correspondence - Universities, societies and other organisations (Yale University - Official) for copy of handwritten curriculum vitae.

1.2 Awards/medals (1993)
Copy of ‘Pitman Medal Awarded to A.T. James' from Australian Journal of Statistics

1.3 Interviews (1996)
Copy of ‘The ET Interview: Professor A.T. James' from Economic Theory; two tape recordings of ‘On Campus' interviews with Adelaide University staff including Alan James, Vic Edgeloe, Ted Nettlebeck, Andrew Watson, etc

1.4 Eulogy (2013)
Funeral program; eulogy including 1967 photograph ‘Family picnic at Belair'


Series 2: Correspondence

2.1 Correspondence - Individuals (alphabetical by correspondent surname)

Frank Anscombe (1959-1984)
Re staffing matters at Yale University, including ‘Proposal for Development of the Department of Statistics'; copy of bibliography; 1965 photograph of Anthony, Frederick, Phyllis and Frankie Anscombe, 1959-1984

Richard Askey (1974-1975)
Re Alan James' manuscript submitted for presentation/publication in the Advanced Seminar on Special Functions 1975; itinerary; seminar program and abstracts of papers presented; general travel documentation

Joan Box (1974)
Comments re teaching of statistics; correspondence about her biography of R.A. Fisher

Norman Campbell (1973)
Copy of joint article ‘A Multivariate Study of Geographic Variation in the Whelk Dicathais'; copy of joint article ‘A Multivariate Study of Variation of Two Species of Rock Crab of the Genus Leptograpsus'; data associated with both papers

Alan Graham Constantine (1958-1972)
Re thesis; statistical anomalies and notes generally; reference by Alan James for Constantine's graduate study at Yale

Robert Conyers (1979-1983)
Copies of four articles, including 'Some Thoughts on Evolution'

E.A. (Pel) Cornish (1950-1973)
Honours recommendations for Adelaide University students; comments re vacant readership and senior lectureship at Statistical Laboratory, Cambridge; re senior staffing matters generally

Karen Darby (1986-1988)
Draft and final copy of Alan James' paper 'Report on the Statistical Modeling of the Data of Karen Darby on the Effect of Progesterone on Noradrenalin in Uptake by the Myometrium'

John Darroch (1966-1979)
Re statistics generally; appointment to Chair at Flinders University; decline of lectureship at Adelaide University; supervision of honours students at Adelaide University

Bill Davis (1971-1992)
Notes on distribution ratios; congratulatory letter regarding Alan James' Pitman Medal

Eldred Jack Davis (1980-1993)
Curriculum vitae including bibliography; copy of joint paper ‘Energy Metabolism of Aerobically-generated Intermediates in Heart Muscle'; invitation to present a seminar at Adelaide University

Art Dempster (1961-1973)
Re Alan James' potential employment at Harvard University and his address at Harvard Statistics Colloquium; request for recommendations of candidates for junior Statistics Department appointments at Harvard

David B. Duncan (1955-1975)
Re Alan James' potential visits to and employment in the U.S.A.; letters re Alan James' colloquium address on multivariate analysis

Isidore Dyen (1965-1972)
Consent to publish joint article; copy of paper 'The Mathematics of Glottochronology Revisited'; copy of bibliography

A.W.F. Edwards (1972)
Re funding for symposium talk, copy of contents page 'An Account of the Statistical Concept of Likelihood and its Application to Scientific Inference' for publication by Cambridge University Press

Anthony (Tony) Elliott (1957-1971)
Re his Ph.D. studies under Alan James and J.B. Douglas; Ph.D. approval letter; 1966 progress report; referee report (by Alan James) for N.S.W. University of Technology position

L. Endrenyi (1979-1980)
Re Alan James' paper 'Tangential and Curvilinear Coordinates in Nonlinear Regression'; congratulatory letter to Alan James re election as Fellow of the American Statistical Association

William Feller (1954-1958)
Personal letters re work generally, including Alan James' employment at Yale

Ronald A. Fisher (1958?-1987)
Notes/statistical computations; letter re CSIRO Statistics Committee recommendation for Allan Birnbaum to establish new department

Joe Gani (1962-1988)
Re CSIRO review of its Division of Mathematics and Statistics; various letters re Alan James' possible employment at CSIRO

Irwin Guttman (1984)
Letter re possible visit to Adelaide; curriculum vitae including publications

W. J. Hall (1971-1979)
Recommendations and lists of nominees and nominators for fellowship of The Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Ted Hannan (1964-1974)
Re potential 1969 visit to Adelaide; letters re ill health

Harold Hotelling (1955-1962)
Re potential candidates for Chairman of Yale University's Dept. of Statistics, letters re Alan James' paper on multivariate analysis, letters re Alan James' 1961 visit to Yale University

Hans Krebs (1982)
Obituary; article by Perutz about Krebs 'A Cycle Ride to Stockholm'

Paruchuri R. Krishnaiah (1969-1982)
Re Alan James' invitation to join the editorial board of Journal of Multivariate Analysis (JMA); Alan James' referee reports re various articles submitted for publication in JMA; copy of Alan James' invitation to present at the Third International Symposium on Multivariate Analysis

H. Oliver Lancaster (1978)
Summary of Alan James' research; bibliography; letter from Alan James consenting to be nominated for election to Australian Academy of Science

Kathryn LaNoue (1974-1984)
Re algebra and equilibrium equations; reprints of various articles

Derrick Lawley (1963-1965)
Re visits to University Colleges of South and North Wales, University of Manchester, University of Sussex and the London Mathematics Society

Hans Levenbach (1970-1973)
Letters re integrals; copy of Biometrika article 'Estimation of Autoregressive Parameters from a Marginal Likelihood Function'

Mara Lee McLaren (1971-1976)
General letters re family and colleagues; postgraduate scholarship offer

Frederick Mosteller (1963)
Re Alan James' invitation to serve the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) as Departmental Representative; invitation to address the IMS meeting at Harvard

Robb Muirhead (1969-2012)
Various referee reports; notes on multivariate problems/analysis; joint paper 'On Some Distribution Problems in Manova and Discriminant Analysis'; copy of research proposal 'Numerical and Inference Problems in Multivariate Analysis'; letter criticising Adelaide University's Statistics Dept.

John Nelder (1974-1983)
Re Graham Wilkinson's(?) possible post to Australia; criticism of Graham's works on statistics

Kerwin Morris (1952-1972)
Copy of fourth year honours statistics 1968; letter re 1968 honours academic results; letter re 1969 Ph.D. candidates; Ph.D. application from Chowdhury

Ingram Olkin (1969)
Re delayed review of article for Annals of Mathematical Statistics

Anne Parkhurst (1965-1973)
Copy of Alan James and Parkhurst article 'Zonal Polynomials of Order 1 Through 12'; letters and notes re tables of zonal polynomials

Renfrey (Ren) Potts (1962-2005)
Offer of appointment as senior lecturer in mathematics at Adelaide University; curriculum vitae and referee reports for Alan Huitson; bibliography of Derrick Lawley; list of third and fourth year mathematics courses; list of new research students 1965; list of Mathematics Dept. staff 1964-1965; teaching loads for 1964; summary of student enrolments 1961-1964; copy of Alan James' contribution to the Ren Potts Memorial Symposium

C. R. Rao (1973-1987)
Re joint publication with Alan James, Wilkinson and Venables; letters re Institute of Mathematics Nominating Committee

D. Ratowsky (1985-1986)
Copy of article 'A Statistical Suitable General Formulation for Modelling Catalytic Chemical Reactions', copy of Alan James' and Venables' paper ‘Nonlinear Regressions with Both Variables Subject to Error'

Basil Rennie (1974)
Re Annette Dobson's Ph.D. award

David Rivett (1950)
Re Pel Cornish and the future generally

Cam Rungie (1970-1972)
Re postgraduate statistics studies and potential employment opportunities

Jimmie Savage (1964-1966)
Re advice on J.F.C Kingman's character and suitability for employment at Yale; book suggestions for new Yale Statistics Library; comments on Geoffrey S. Watson's manuscript 'Estimation in Finite Populations'; copy of paper 'On Rereading R.A. Fisher'; two tape recordings of 'On Rereading Fisher'

Hans Schwerdtfeger (1950-1959)
Re statistics seminar at McGill University, Montreal, etc

B. K. Shah (1960-1972)
Photocopy of working paper 'Enzyme Systems'; copies of four articles authored jointly with I.R. Patel and C.G. Khatri

Norman Stenhouse (1958-1999)
Notes on microwave therapy for carcinoma treatment; example statistics; reference for employment at University of Tasmania; oral history memoir; obituary from The West Australian; email re Ronald Fisher's last days

Anthony (Tony) Verhagen (1975)
Request for employment reference

Geoffrey S. Watson (1963-1972)
Re recruitment to Statistics Dept. at John Hopkins University, Princeton University and Stanford University; Robert Arthur Wijsman's curriculum vitae and bibliography

Hans V. Westerhoff (1982-1984)
Reprints of articles 'Mosaic Protonic Coupling Hypothesis for Free Energy Transduction' and 'Thermodynamics of Growth...'

Colin White (1963-1965)
Letter from Mrs Raymond Hopkins re future studies at Yale and possible employment; letter re holiday to Australia

Graham N. Wilkinson (1959-1980)
Curriculum vitae, list of publications and application for Senior Research Scientist CSIRO; referee report; submission for Dept. of Biometry at Waite Institute; seminar notes on statistical inference 'Was Fisher Right After All?'; notes re manuscript 'A General Recursive Procedure for Analysis of Variance'

Emlyn Williams (1980)
Request for and approval to use Williams' notes in Alan James' book 'Experiemental Design and GENSTAT'

Evan Williams (1965-2004)
Re Alan James' nomination for the International Statistical Institute; statement of reasons for establishing an independent Dept. of Statistics at Adelaide University; referee reports for William Venables and Robb Muirhead


2.2 Correspondence - Universities, societies and other organisations

The University of Adelaide

  • Official (1964-2006)
    Application and invitation to fill the role of Chair of Mathematical Statistics; curriculum vitae (incl. list of publications); memo re appointment as Honorary Visiting Research Fellow; letter of resignation as Head of Statistics Dept.; draft history of the Statistics Dept. from 1944 to 1974; study leave application; information on mathematical training and the use of mathematical tools by social scientists
  • Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (1999)
    Future of the faculty/discipline at Adelaide University generally; 1999-2002 draft strategic plan; submission to Exec. Dean, Ian Young, re cuts to Statistics Dept., departmental emails and communications
  • Future of Statistics Department (1988-1999)
    re cutbacks to Adelaide University's Statistics Dept. Honours program; abolition of Chair of Statistics
  • Statistics Department Proposals (1996)
    'Statistics within the University of Adelaide' report; 1996 proposal for Dept. of Statistics; two copies of 'Report to the Professorial Subcommittee of the Faculty of Science...to Enquire into the Feasibility of a Department of Statistics or Mathematical Statistics'; notebook with student assignment grades; copies of F. Anscombe's 'Proposal for Development of the Department of Statistics in Yale University'

Yale University

  • Official (1958-1968)
    Appointment as Visiting Lecturer; re Senior Faculty Fellowship; re promotion to Professor of Mathematical Statistics; copy of Adelaide University Undergraduate Record; handwritten curriculum vitae
  • Statistics Committee (1960-1963)
    Re plans for Statistics Dept. at Yale University; draft objectives of Statistics program; curricula vitae and bibliographies of various statistics professors; seminar in statistics attendance records
  • General Correspondence Mostly Received Whilst Employed at Yale (2 folders)
    Folder 1 (1959-1962): Employment proposal from Kansas State University; student recommendation letters for Barry Powell, Robert Schmeidler, Jerry Bramblett and J. Blumner; letter re election as Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics
    Folder 2 (1955-1965): general correspondence, mostly air mail letters, with colleagues re publication of papers; letters re Harvard University talk 'On the Distribution of Some Statistics Obtained from Non-linear Equations'; employment proposal from Kansas State University

Flinders University (1971-1972)
Letter re Master of Science student, Keith Watkins; notification of Appointment Committee meeting for a Chair of Mathematics

Universities and Societies - General (1968-1979)
Letters re Adelaide University's Dept. of Mathematical Statistics career booklet, including draft copy; requests for employment references; requests to referee journal articles; invitation to nominate for Fellowship of The American Statistical Association

International Statistical Institute (ISI) (1967-1975)
Congratulatory letter re election as ordinary member of the ISI; acknowledgement of I. Guttman's nomination as candidate of the ISI

Fisher Committee (1967-1981)
Correspondence re access to R. A. Fisher papers; re Adelaide University's entitlement to royalties arising from Fisher's publications; copy of agreement for permission to reprint Fisher's book 'Design of Experiments'

Travelers Insurance Company (1958-1964)
Letters re visit to Research Dept. Weather Systems Division, notes and correspondence re meteorological analysis; copy of final report 'Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Atmospheric Processes', prepared for Geophysics Research Directorate, United States Air force


2.3 Correspondence - Other

Editors (1957-1981)
Statistics notes, letters and referee reports re articles for potential publication in journals, incl. 'Annals of Mathematical Statistics',' Biometrika' and 'Journal of the American Statistical Association'; letters to 'Clinical Biochemistry' and 'Journal of Theoretical Biology' editors re publication of technical reports; photocopies of reports 'Liver Redox Resistance' and 'Linear Nonequilibrium Thermodynamic Equations for Relaxation of Lactate Redox Stress and Hydrogen Catabolism'

Publishers (1962-1981)
Letters re potential publication of statistics works with various book publishers, including Addison-Wesley, John Wiley & Sons, Prentice Hall and Academic Press

William Brooking Taylor (1994-2012)
Copies of obituary; eulogy; coroner's inquest; record of interview between witnesses, next of kin and Constable Trevor Baldwin re toxigenic shock following surgery

Addresses/contact information (dates unknown)
Names and addresses of various mathematics professionals


2.4 Correspondence with staff, mostly University of Adelaide (alphabetical)

Two folders of general correspondence, primarily re potential and visiting staff and reference requests/reports, ordered alphabetically by staff surname

A-M - incl. Wazir H. Abdi, George Anderson, Greg Bennett, Derek Hudson, Hans Levenbach, Ross Maller, etc
M-Y - incl. Donald Preece, Charles Pearce, William Taylor, John Tukey, L.G. Underhill, William Venables, etc


2.5 Correspondence with individuals (alphabetical)

Three folders of general correspondence ordered alphabetically by correspondent surname

A-G - incl. David Bacon, Eryl Bassett, James Blumner, Ralph Bradley, Stewart Cairns, Michael Edgeloe, etc
H-P - incl. Geoff Hill, C.P. Jeffreson, Arthur Linder, Francis MacNally, etc
Q-Z - Richard Reyment, Philip Rhodes, Cam Rungie, Don Watts, etc


Series 3: Writing and research

3.1 Unpublished papers (1958-2004)
Copy of paper 'Random Effects Modelling with Requisite Algebra Examples from Metabolism' copies of 'Nasometer Pilot Study' with statistical analysis of the data by James; various papers on multivariate methods and algebra

3.2 Lecture notes/teaching (2000-2003)
Notes re nonstandard analysis; Mathematical Applications (Stage 2 SACE) Curriculum Statement

3.3 Talks/addresses (1960-1967)
Copy of valedictory address; presidential address; general statistics talks, including 'Statistics in the Sciences' and 'Statistics and Scientific Inference'

3.4 Research projects (1934-2008)
Emails, notes and calculations re maxillary advancement study with J.H. Barker; correspondence re Alan James' belief that R.A. Fisher shortchanged Constantine and the importance of his work at CSIRO; letters between R.A. Fisher and King's College Provost re Turing's dissertation; copies of 'Nasometer Pilot Study' and 'The Logit Transform to Decibels of Percentage Nasality in Speech' and associated data and calculations

3.5 General notes (1985?-)
Notes and comments on statistics, calculus and mathematics generally; notes and timetable re the 7th Magdeburg Colloquium on Mitochondrial Functions


Series 4: Publications/Writings

4.1 Reprints/official publications (1954-1994)
Published journal articles authored or co-authored by Alan James, in chronological order

4.2 Writings of other researchers (1952-1971, but most undated)
Conference papers and articles of other researchers, including 'Dispersion on a Sphere' by Ronald Fisher, 'Distribution of HLA Antigens in the Busselton Population' by B.R. Hawkins et al and 'Serum Urea and Uric Acid Values in the Adult Population of Busselton' by D. H. Cudrow and R.C. Bowyer

Rare Books & Special Collections
Address

The University of Adelaide
Rare Books & Special Collections
Level 1, Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005
Australia

Contact

Phone: +61 8 8313 5224
library_special@adelaide.edu.au