Undergraduate Essay Prize

Undergraduate Essay Prize

Results of the 2019-20 competition

Many congratulations to the winners of the BSHM undergraduate essay competition. Winners will be publicly announced and congratulated during the online Gresham Meeting on 21 October 2020 and will receive their prizes through the post.

First prize essay

Quantifying the unquantifiable: the role of mathematicisation of philosophy during seventeenth century Scotland, by Natasha Bailie, Queen's University, Belfast

Runners up essays

Treatise of Algebra: John Wallis’ journey towards understanding complex numbers, by Emma Lepinay, University of Oxford

The effects of rivalry on mathematical development in Europe, by Molly Chung, University of St Andrews

The 20th century development of Linear Programming in USA and USSR, by Arman Jena, LSE

Deep rooted evidence of the use of mathematical principles in music, by Sasha Ramani, University of York

Details of the 2020-21 competition will be announced here in due course.

Winners of the previous competitions

We did not award the prize in 2018-19.

The winner of the 2017-18 Essay Prize was Kamilla Rekvenyi of the University of St Andrews, for her essay, Paul Erdös’ Mathematics as a Social Activity. Kamilla was awarded her prize at the BSHM Meeting at Gresham College on 24th October, at 4pm. Her paper was subsequently published in the British Journal for the History of Mathematics, and can be seen here https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/26375451.2019.1593036.

2016/17: Eli Hymson of the University of Exeter for an essay entitled The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Foundationless Mathematics. The judging panel also highly commended  entries by Siddhi Doshi (essay title: The evolution of the game theory as a foundation in economic analysis) and Stefan Kitic (essay title: What is “money” and does its use require “mathematics”?)  of the London School of Economics.

2015/16: Michael Seal (London School of Economics), 'Was there a Revolution in Analysis in the Early 19th Century?' and Brigitte Stenhouse (University of Oxford), 'How Financial Instability Influenced the Mathematical Publications of Mary Somerville'.

2014/15: Edwin Reynolds (University of Oxford), ‘To What Extent Were the Contributions of Cauchy to the Development of Rigour in Analysis Influenced by Those of Lagrange?'

2013/14: Remus Stana (University of Glasgow), 'Mathematics in Nazi Germany' .

2012/13: Ryan Stanley (University of Exeter), 'Dedekind, Cantor and the rigour of calculus' .

2011/12: Stephanie Crampin (University of Oxford), 'The contribution of Évariste Galois to the founding of group theory' and Nicole Johannesen (University of St Andrews), 'The application of mathematical understanding in the ancient Olympic Games'.