Beyond the Academy. The Practice of Mathematics from the Renaissance to the Nineteenth Century

Beyond the Academy. The Practice of Mathematics from the Renaissance to the Nineteenth Century

Thursday 6 April 2017 (All day) to Friday 7 April 2017 (All day)
Priory Street Centre, York

In the history of mathematics, no less than in the study of history more generally, much attention has traditionally been given to the major figures like Newton, Euler, or Cauchy.  However (again, as in history more generally), there is much to be gained from studying the ‘minor’ figures in the story of the development of mathematics: people whose names are not associated with any groundbreaking discoveries or who have not proved any major theorems, but who nevertheless employed mathematics on a daily basis, and who thus contributed in a broader sense to mathematical progress.  This two-day conference is dedicated primarily to the life and works of such ‘Mathematical Practitioners’.  Who were they? In what milieus did they move? How did they make their living? A secondary, closely related theme is ‘mathematics beyond the universities’: just as a great deal of attention has been focused on high-profile figures, so too has there been an emphasis in scholarly work on the pursuit of mathematics within major metropolitan or academic centres. The role of women in this story is a particularly important consideration. Our aim with this conference is also to provide a forum for investigating the history of mathematical practice in non-academic or non-urban settings.

Confirmed invited speakers:

  • Angela Axworthy (Technische Universität Berlin)
  • Philip Beeley (University of Oxford)
  • Jim Bennett (University of Oxford)
  • Sloan Despeaux (Western Carolina University)
  • Boris Jardine (University of Cambridge)
  • Leo Rogers (Independent Researcher)

This meeting is supported by AHRC Project number AH/L002248/1.

This event is free to attend, but, in order to aid planning, indications of intent would be appreciated: please register these here.

For directions to the venue from York railway station, click here.  The meeting is expected to begin around 10am on the Thursday, and to end around 4pm on the Friday.  Refreshments and lunchtime catering will be provided.  A link to the full programme may be found below.  Enquiries about the meeting should be directed to Philip Beeley or Christopher Hollings.