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Mathematical Study Unit

Information Application Links Philamath Mathematicians  


      The Mathematical Study Unit (MSU) is a philatelic study unit whose purpose is to acquire and disseminate knowledge of philatelic materials related to mathematics, mathematicians, and computers. Since its creation in 1979, the unit has registered more than 365 members from 25 countries.

October 2001 Philamath

     Click here to complete an online application form or print out an application to mail in.


     The MSU publishes a newsletter, Philamath, four times per year. The newsletter contains a broad spectrum of articles, including short biographies of some of the more obscure mathematicians (e.g. Napoleon, President Garfield, Kant, etc.). You can see the table of contents for recent issues and access an index to all complete volumes to date on the Philamath page of this site.  Philamath has been distributed as a full-color print edition since October 2011. You may view this sample issue by clicking on the image to the right. You will need a PDF viewer, either built-in to your browser or as a separate application. Use your browser's back button to return to this page.


     Annual dues are $12 per year for residents of North America and $15 per year  for overseas residents. The year runs from July 1 to June 30. Please make a check payable to Mathematical Study Unit and send it to:

Michael Tanoff
1331 Grand Ave.
Kalamazoo MI 49006 

     You may also make your payment via PayPal, whether or not you have a PayPal account.  If you would like to do so, please e-mail Michael at diandmi(at) for instructions.  We will accept PayPal at no extra charge, whether you live in the United States or overseas.  Once you e-mail Michael be sure to check for a response.  Sometimes e-mail responses are automatically routed to the junk mail folder and must be retrieved.  It would be helpful if you would put MSU or Math Unit in the subject line of your e-mail so that your e-mail does not wind up in Michael’s junk mail folder.


     The unit, largely through the efforts of its president Monty Strauss, has compiled a checklist of over 5000 mathematical stamps and items of postal stationery. These stamps depict a wide variety of material, including mathematicians, mathematical symbols, equations, math journals, Mobius strips and other geometric shapes, statistics, measuring devices, the metric system, graphs, and mathematically significant globes and projections. The list includes stamps related to computers as well as meters, special cancels, and cacheted covers of mathematical relevance.

     A printed copy of the checklist is available for $15 ($20 for overseas Air Mail). See the mailing address above. Members can receive a free version of the Excel checklist electronically from our Yahoo site or by purchasing the CD-ROM described below. The Excel file can be edited, searched, and sorted as desired using a spreadsheet program.


     The unit has prepared a CD-ROM that contains all complete volumes of Philamath from July 1979 to date. This searchable CD is available only to members at a cost of $10 postpaid worldwide. Members can view each issue and print individual issues or pages as desired. Members will need a PDF viewer application, typically Adobe Acrobat Reader, to access these pages. The CD also contains an index for all volumes as well as the checklist described above. See the Dues and Paypal heading above for ordering information.


       MSU members are invited to join the Yahoo Mathematics and Computers Group at no additional charge by clicking below. Unit members can download the MSU checklist of stamps and postal stationery from this Yahoo site.

You must first be an MSU member to join this Yahoo Group
MSU members click to join Yahoo Group
MSU members click to join Yahoo Group