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Mathematical Biography:

A MacTutor Celebration


St Andrews University, Scotland

16th - 17th September 2016

MATHEMATICAL BIOGRAPHY: A MACTUTOR CELEBRATION

16-17 September 2016

pdf version of programme

pdf version of abstracts

 

Registration (essential) is now closed. For queries about late registration contact Isobel Falconer

 

All activities take place in Parliament Hall, South St, St Andrews, KY16 9JU (building 67 (K3) on this map)

FRIDAY am – Optional Activities –

09.45 on 

Parliament Hall open for registration and leaving bags etc

10.00 & 11.30 

Walking tours of sites of mathematical and scientific interest (departing Parliament Hall). All participants have been allocated to their first choice of walk time

12.30 

Visit to the mathematical collections in the University Special Collections, led by Gabriel Sewell (meet Parliament Hall at 12.20 or Special Collections, in the Martyrs' Kirk Reading Room on North St, at 12.30)

 

Note that Friday lunch is not provided. There are lots of cafes just outside Parliament Hall

FRIDAY pm

14.10

Welcome

 

Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal, University of St Andrews

 

Philip Beeley, President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics

14.25

Biography and the cultural significance of individuals (invited talks)

 

Henrik Kragh Sørensen: "Abel der Glückliche": Appropriations in the biographies of Niels Henrik Abel

 

Eva Kaufholz: “…the first handsome mathematical lady I have ever seen!” — On the role of beauty in the portrayals of Sofja Kowalewskaja

 

Steven Skiena: Who's bigger? A quantitative analysis of historical fame

 

Chair: Mark McCartney

16.10

Tea

16.40

Use of new technologies (invited talks)

 

Dagmar Mrozik: The Jesuit Science Network: A digital prosopography project on Jesuit scholars in early modern science

 

Kris Grint: Crowdsourcing, discovery, and public engagement with Jeremy Bentham

 

Chair: Sarah Hart

17.50

Changeover

18.00

Panel discussion: approaches to writing mathematical biography (Questions to the panel invited from all participants)

 

Panellists:

Graham Farmelo (science writer and commentator: biography of Dirac)

 

 

Sydney Padua (graphic artist: graphic novel about Lovelace and Babbage)

 

 

Nicholas Bingham (mathematician: obituaries editor for London Mathematical Society 2005-15)

 

Facilitator:

Colva Roney-Dougal

19.40

Wine reception and buffet supper

 

Opportunity to visit the King James Library (just above Parliament Hall), where James Gregory worked, and the Senate Room, which contains his clocks 19.40-20.00

20.40

Film: Fermat's Last Tango - a musical about Andrew Wiles, Fermat, and others, put out by the Clay Institute

SATURDAY am

9.00

MacTutor session

 

Richard Simpson: Travels with MacTutor (recorded talk)

9.30

Edmund Robertson: The development of MacTutor

10.00

Ineke de Moortel (facilitator): Discussion for all participants of hopes and aspirations for MacTutor

10.30

Coffee

10.50

Reflecting on writing biography

 

Philip Beeley (invited speaker): 'The learned shall reap the benefit of your spare hours'. An essay on the life and work of the mathematical intelligencer John Collins.

 

John Bibby (short talk): Zigzagging round Karl Pearson's Yorkshire roots: an idiot's tour using familiography, local history, biography and science history

 

Michalis Sialaros (short talk): Revisiting Euclid's biography: a critical examination of the anecdotes about his life

 

Chair: Graham Farmelo

12.05

Lunch (included)

SATURDAY pm

12.50

Politicisation of mathematical biography in the 20th century (short talks)

 

Christopher Hollings: Reading between the lines: Soviet mathematical biography

 

Laura Rodriguez: Frigyes Riesz between the two Wold Wars

 

Jan Kotůlek: Prosopography of mathematicians connected to disappearing German-speaking community in Prague (1938–1945)

 

Chair: Fenny Smith

13.50

Changeover

14.00

Writing & using biographies of female mathematicians (short talks)

 

A.E.L. Davis: A survey of sources for biographies of female mathematicians

 

Jacqueline Dewar: Women and mathematics: A course and a scholarly investigation

 

Ursula Martin: Writing the mathematical biography of Ada Lovelace

 

Chair: Martyn Quick

15.00

Finish