Category Archives: History of Mathematics

A Not Too Mathy Math Blog

Lauren Miller’s favorite number is 23. “I really liked being 23, that was the year I decided to become a mathematician,” Miller told me over burgers and beers in Claremont, California this week. After taking a circuitous route through education … Continue reading

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Public Domain Math

Many pieces of mathematics — for example, simple geometric shapes and some mathematical formulas — are uncopyrightable or unpatentable. You can’t copyright a square or patent the area formula for a circle. Anyone can use them. But this post is … Continue reading

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They Answered The Call Of Numbers

“Hidden Figures is a book about people like you, who answered the call of numbers,” said the author Margot Lee Shetterly, addressing a packed room at the Joint Math Meetings in Atlanta this January. The book, which tells the story … Continue reading

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Celebrating Black Mathematicians

As you may know, February is Black History Month in the U.S. To celebrate, the new website Mathematically Gifted and Black is featuring a different black mathematician every day this month. The site was started by mathematicians Erica Graham, Raegan … Continue reading

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What Should Mathematicians Do Now?

Mathematicians sometimes pretend we are above the everyday vicissitudes of life, preferring to inhabit a realm of abstraction and perfection, but that’s a lie. We live here too. We are voters, citizens, residents, and teachers. What happens in our country … Continue reading

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Don’t Worry, Math Is Still Everywhere

Last week Michael J. Barany — a mathematical historian — published a blog post in Scientific American titled Mathematicians Are Overselling the Idea That “Math Is Everywhere.” We can talk about whether or not the main arguments of his article … Continue reading

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Beyond Euro-American Mathematics

A New York Times op-ed by Jay L. Garfield and Bryan W. Van Norden earlier this month calls out university philosophy departments for their lack of diversity. “We therefore suggest that any department that regularly offers courses only on Western philosophy … Continue reading

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Celebrating Our Sisters in STEM

Did you know that a group of six women programmed the first ever electronic computer? Just one of the interesting facts I’ve learned this March, and in honor of Women’s History Month I wanted to give a well-deserved tip of … Continue reading

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Blogging in Math (History) Class

I am teaching a math history class this semester, and in addition to trying to teach my students math and history, the course satisfies an upper-level writing credit. It’s a lot to try to cram into one three-hour course! With … Continue reading

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Mathematician Presents Flawed Proof – in a work of fiction

Following Evelyn’s last post about the new Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, I will now discuss the opposite of wild mathematical success. Depending on how excited you are about public speaking, the moments before giving a talk at a math conference may be … Continue reading

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