History of the Department of Mathematics

Math Model Collection, Department of Mathematics

Michelson Harmonic Fourier Analyzing and Synthesizer Machine

This century old mechanical marvel implements Fourier analysis. It is on display in Altgeld Hall on the second floor outside Room 241. To learn how this machine works, watch these videos by Bill Hammack, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
(1/4) Intro/History: Introducing a 100-year-old mechanical computer
(2/4) Synthesis: A machine that uses gears, springs and levers to add sines and cosines
(3/4) Analysis: Explaining Fourier analysis with a machine
4/4) Operation: The details of setting up the Harmonic Analyzer

Altgeld Hall 3D model

Learn about 3D printing of a model Altgeld Hall

History of the University of Illinois

  • UIHistories Project -- Visit UIHistories to trace the 150 year history of how the University of Illinois was founded on the "treeless prairie", and how the face of campus has changed as the University grew from a single building to the multicampus institution of today.