You're reading: Posts Tagged: history of maths

Looking at mathematical literature as literature

Stanford University News have posted a press release/interview with Reviel Netz about his book Ludic Proof: Greek Mathematics and the Alexandrian Aesthetic.

What’s the intersection of the set of mathematicians and the set of popes?

Hint: a man who started life with one name but later adopted the one he is today remembered as.

Follow the timeline of Alan Turing’s life

The Science Museum in London have created a Facebook timeline of Alan Turing’s life and events afterwards. It’s an excellent use of the new Timeline feature – you can scroll up and down the timeline from Turing’s birth to the current day, which contains plenty on his codebreaking and work with early computers as well as more mundane things like his schooling and the invention of the very first chess-playing computer program. Appropriately, his tragic death is a small footnote to a fascinating life, just a couple of lines. Scrolling back up towards the present, you can see how Turing’s reputation was restored and commemorated, leading up to 2012, the Alan Turing Year.

Klein: outside the bottle

If you’ve heard of Felix Klein, it’s probably due to the Klein bottle, that strange four-dimensional object that is the subject of a new video here on The Aperiodical starring Katie Steckles and Matt Parker. Who is Klein and, apart from the bottle, what did he do?

Klein’s Times obituary records that he would point out “with a smile” that his date of birth comprised three squares of primes. So then, I will refer to his birth as taking place on the $( 5^2 )^{\textrm{th}}$ day of the $(2^2 )^{\textrm{th}}$ month in the year $43^2$ in Prussia. You might like to notice that today is the $( 5^2)^{\textrm{th}}$ day of the $( 2^2 )^{\textrm{th}}$ month as well, so it is the 163rd anniversary of Klein’s birth.

Minds of Modern Mathematics iPad App

Much is being made on Twitter of the IBM Minds of Modern Mathematics App. Okay if you have an iPad, I suppose. According to Wired, this:

presents an interactive timeline of the history of mathematics and its impact on society from 1000 to 1960… The app is based on an original, 50-foot-long “Men of Modern Mathematics” installation created in 1964 by Charles and Ray Eames. Minds of Modern Mathematics users can view a digitized version of the original infographic as well as browse through an interactive timeline with more than 500 biographies, math milestones and images of relevant artifacts.

Wikipedia explains that Men of Modern Mathematics was connected with the exhibit  Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Beyond, originally in the new science wing of the California Museum of Science and Industry. According to the Eames Office, “committed to communicating, preserving, and extending the legacy and work of Charles and Ray Eames” who designed the exhibit, Mathematica was “intended to enlighten the amateur without embarrassing the specialist”.

Wikipedia has this to say of the Men of Modern Mathematics poster:

In 1966, five years after the opening of the Mathematica Exhibit, IBM published a 2-by-12-foot (0.61 × 3.7 m) timeline poster—titled “Men of Modern Mathematics”—based on the items displayed on the exhibit’s History Wall, and distributed free copies to academics. The timeline covers the period from 1000 AD to approximately 1950 AD, and the poster has biographical and historical items along with numerous pictures showing progress in various areas of science, including architecture.

You can view still images of the poster at the Computer History Museum website.

iPad App: Minds of Modern Mathematics.

Wired: New IBM App Presents Nearly 1,000 Years of Math History.

Perspectives of the regular solid

BibliOdyssey has posted some very old perspective drawings of polyhedra and other geometric shapes.