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Convergence Calendar

Please send Calendar items to Randy K. Schwartz.

An archive of past Calendar items is also available.

2019


September 19, 2019:  The Philadelphia Area Seminar on History of Mathematics (PASHoM), Villanova, PA

         To be held 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Room 300 of the Saint Augustine Center, Villanova Univ. Following conversation and a light supper (donation: $10.00), beginning at approx. 6:30 or 6:45 David Perry (National Security Agency) will speak on “The Cracking of Enigma”. Although most people have heard of Alan Turing and his colleagues at Bletchley Park successfully breaking the Enigma, it is less well known that the Polish Cipher Bureau broke the Enigma during the 1930s, using the mathematics of permutations in a way that had not been anticipated. Because of this story, code making and codebreaking became the purview of mathematicians thereafter. This talk will provide the details of what Marian Rejewski and his colleagues did to crack the Enigma.


October 2, 2019:  Frederick V. Pohle Colloquium Series in the History of Mathematics, Garden City, NY

          Scheduled at 4:00 pm in Room 233, Science Building, Adelphi University. Rob Bradley (Adelphi Univ.) speaks on "Series: Convergent, Divergent ... Whatever!". A few years ago, the more mathy corners of the Internet were in a tizzy over the assertion that 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ... = -1/12, a result which is actually used in string theory. Of course, this series is not convergent in the usual sense, so in what sense does this identity hold? This talk, accessible to anyone who has taken two semesters of calculus, investigates some of the early uses of divergent series, especially by Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). It goes on to examine the introduction of the modern definition of convergent and divergent series by Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789-1857) in 1821; the ideas of Ernesto Cesaro (1859-1906) and Niels Heinrik Abel (1802-1829) that extended the notion of convergence; and concludes with an examination of a tour de force by Euler and Cauchy: an elementary proof of the convergence of the binomial series.


October 7-11, 2019:  Third World Congress on Formal Methods (FM’19), Porto, Portugal

          Scheduled at the Alfandega Porto Congress Centre. As part of the congress, there will be an all-day History of Formal Methods (HFM) workshop on Oct. 11. Its theme is the history of formal methods in computing, where 'formal methods' refers to mathematical or logical techniques for modelling, specifying, and reasoning about aspects of computing. The aim is to bring together historians of computing, technology, and science with practitioners in the field of formal methods to reflect on the discipline’s history. The workshop is intended to be of interest to current researchers in formal methods and to be accessible to people without any historical background. The invited speaker is Mark Priestley (Lecturer in Software Engineering, Univ. of Westminster, retired), now an independent scholar of the history and philosophy of computing with a particular interest in the early history of programming. Proposed papers for the workshop are invited at the HFM website, with a submission deadline of April 30, 2019.


October 16, 2019:  Study Days in Honor of Michel Serfati, Paris, France

          The first of two days of study in honor of the late Michel Serfati (d. Sep. 30, 2018); see also Oct. 30 listing, below. Serfati, of the Institute for Research on the Teaching of Mathematics (IREM) at the Université de Paris Diderot, played a leading role in bringing to life in France the disciplines of History and Epistemology of Mathematics, especially through his Seminar on the Epistemology and History of Mathematical Ideas, which he founded and animated for more than 25 years. The study days are scheduled at the Institut Henri Poincaré (11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 5e) and co-organized by IREM Paris, Société d’Etudes Leibniziennes de Langue Française, Centre des Philosophies Modernes de la Sorbonne, and ANR Mathesis. Scheduled speakers for Oct. 16 include Dominique Descotes (Univ. Clermont Auvergne), “Une Extension du Vocabulaire Technique des Indivisibles: Le Problème du Temps de la Grâce”; Sébastien Maronne (Univ. Paul Sabatier), “Les Compas Cartésiens”; and Claire Schwartz (Univ. Paris Ouest), “Leibniz et la Modernité Mathématique”.


October 18-19, 2019:  MAA North Central Section Fall Meeting, Moorhead, MN

          The Fall meeting of the North Central Section of the Mathematical Assn. of America, scheduled this year at Concordia College, includes an Invited Address by James Sellers (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth and MAA Secretary), “Revisiting what Euler and the Bernoullis Knew About Convergent Infinite Series”. All too often in first-year calculus classes, conversations about infinite series stop with discussions about convergence or divergence. Such interactions are, unfortunately, not often illuminating or intriguing. Interestingly enough, Jacob and Johann Bernoulli and Leonhard Euler (and their contemporaries in the early 18th Century) knew quite a bit about how to find the exact values of numerous families of convergent infinite series. In this talk, which is accessible to anyone interested in mathematics, Dr. Sellers shows two sets of exact results in this vein.


October 23, 2019:  Gresham College Lecture, “Mathematical Expeditions”, London, England

          This free public event, organized by the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM), consists of three lectures in sequence and is scheduled at 4-7 pm at the Museum of London Lecture Theatre. The event marks the centenary of the eclipse expeditions that provided evidence for Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Tickets are not required.


October 24, 2019:  The Philadelphia Area Seminar on History of Mathematics (PASHoM), Villanova, PA

         To be held 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Room 300 of the Saint Augustine Center, Villanova Univ. Following conversation and a light supper (donation: $10.00), beginning at approx. 6:30 or 6:45 Shelley Costa (Swarthmore College and West Chester Univ.)-- who spent the first six months of 2019 in Kyoto, Japan-- will speak on “Sangaku: The Exchange of Geometrical Problem-Solving in 18th- and 19th-C. Japan”. Among the many cultural practices that were refined during the Edo period (1603-1867), Japanese abstract mathematics is not one of the most familiar. The talk provides a glimpse of some powerful techniques and problem-solving conventions unique to Japanese mathematics, with a focus on how the ways they were shared were in keeping with ancient Japanese culture. In particular, it summarizes the marvelous work done to date on historicizing the practice of sharing geometrical problems via wooden prayer boards — sangaku — displayed to the public at shrines and temples. Dr. Costa brings to bear her own work on public problem-solving exchange in early 18th-C. Europe and introduces questions about the roles of economics, social expectations, gender, and faith in the mathematical exchanges of each cultural tradition.


October 25-26, 2019:  MAA Ohio Section Fall Meeting, Portsmouth, OH

          The Fall meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Assn. of America is scheduled this year at Shawnee State Univ. It includes the following sessions relevant to the history of mathematics and its uses in teaching:

  • Invited Address, “The ENIAC’s 1949 Determination of Pi”, by Brian J. Shelburne (Wittenberg Univ.)
  • Invited Address, “Revisiting what Euler and the Bernoullis Knew About Convergent Infinite Series”, by James Sellers (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth and MAA Secretary)
  • Workshop, “The Powerfully Scintillating Pedagogy of Primary Source Projects: Reading the Masters to Stimulate Student Learning and Transform Your Teaching”, conducted by Daniel E. Otero (Xavier Univ.) and Janet Heine Barnett (Colorado State Univ.).


October 30, 2019:  Study Days in Honor of Michel Serfati, Paris, France

          The second of two days of study in honor of the late Michel Serfati (d. Sep. 30, 2018); see also Oct. 16 listing, above. Serfati, of the Institute for Research on the Teaching of Mathematics (IREM) at the Université de Paris Diderot, played a leading role in bringing to life in France the disciplines of History and Epistemology of Mathematics, especially through his Seminar on the Epistemology and History of Mathematical Ideas, which he founded and animated for more than 25 years. The study days are scheduled at the Institut Henri Poincaré (11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 5e) and co-organized by IREM Paris, Société d’Etudes Leibniziennes de Langue Française, Centre des Philosophies Modernes de la Sorbonne, and ANR Mathesis. Scheduled speakers for Oct. 30 include Siegmund Probst and Regina Stuber (Leibniz Archive, Hanover) on “Questions et Problèmes Concernant la Nouvelle Édition des Cogitationes Privatae de Descartes dans l’Édition de Leibniz: Un Rapport Intermédiaire”; David Crippa (Institute of Philosophy at the Czech Academy of Sciences), “Autour de Leibniz et la Notion de Transcendance Mathématique”; and a roundtable discussion with Simon Decaens (Henri Poincaré Archives and CNRS), Catherine Goldstein (Mathematics Institute of Jussieu–Paris Rive Gauche [IMJ-PRG]), and David Rabouin (CNRS, SPHere, and ANR Mathesis).


October 31 - November 2, 2019:  30th Annual Novembertagung on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Strasbourg, France

           This annual international conference is aimed at doctoral and postdoctoral students in the history of mathematics and related fields. It provides an opportunity for them to present and discuss their research in an informal and safe environment, share experiences and advice, and establish new contacts. The conference’s theme this year is “ Mathematical Cultures, Values and Norms”. The meeting is scheduled at the Institut de Recherche Mathématique Avancée (IRMA) of the University of Strasbourg. Keynote talks will be given by June Barrow-Green (Open University, England) and Roy Wagner (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland).


RESCHEDULED FROM October 4-5
November 1-2, 2019:   ORESME Reading Group Meeting, Cincinnati, OH area

          This 41st semi-annual gathering of the Ohio River Early Sources in Mathematical Exposition (ORESME) Reading Group, scheduled at Xavier University, will take up Euler’s Institutiones Calculi Differentialis (1755), specifically Chapters III (“On the infinite and the infinitely small”) and IV (“On the nature of differentials of each order”) in Blanton’s English translation (Foundations of Differential Calculus; Springer, 2000). ORESME meetings feature discussion of important works in the history of mathematics, usually concentrating on a single author; the readings can be downloaded from the ORESME website. Organizers Daniel J. Curtin (Northern Kentucky University) and Daniel E. Otero (Xavier University) welcome your inquiries.


November 6, 2019:  “Tales of Impossibility: The Problems of Antiquity”, New York, NY

           David Richeson (Dickinson College and Editor of Math Horizons) presents a talk, “Tales of Impossibility: The Problems of Antiquity”, twice (4 pm and 6 pm) at the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in Manhattan. While it is comforting to believe the greeting-card sentiment that “Nothing is impossible!”— it’s the American dream, after all— there are some impossible things. Ancient Greek geometers and future generations of mathematicians tried and failed to square circles, trisect angles, double cubes, and construct regular polygons using only a compass and straightedge. Join Dr. Richeson to try your hand at some of these unusual geometric construction techniques. But get ready to fail— after 2000 years, all four of these “problems of antiquity” have been proved to be mathematically impossible! Part of MoMath’s popular public presentation series “Math Encounters”, which is free but registration is required using the link given above.


November 6, 2019:  Frederick V. Pohle Colloquium Series in the History of Mathematics, Garden City, NY

          Scheduled at 4:00 pm in Room 233, Science Building, Adelphi University. Glen Van Brummelen (Quest Univ./ Institute for Advanced Study) speaks on "The Forgotten Man: Astronomy in the Transformative 15th Century". The history of mathematics is partly a record of what happened. However, we know a lot less than we think, because— uncomfortably more than we might expect— over the decades the history of mathematics has also been a record of what we care about. This talk explores one episode that illustrates the "forgotten" history of mathematics, in early 15th-Century mathematical astronomy. The forgotten man is Giovanni Bianchini, the CFO from Ferrara who turned his eye away from bookkeeping and toward the heavens. His unusual path to academia provoked a number of revolutions, including among others the birth of the European tangent function. Overlooked in the shadow cast by his now more illustrious successor Regiomontanus, Bianchini’s role in the history of mathematics and science fully deserves a resurrection.


November 6-8, 2019:  Varga 100, Budapest, Hungary

          This conference, “Connecting Tamás Varga’s Legacy and Current Research in Mathematics Education”, is scheduled at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Hungarian mathematics educator, researcher, and reform leader Tamás Varga. The deadline for submission of a presentation abstract is April 30, 2019.


November 8-9, 2019:  MAA Maryland-District of Columbia-Virginia Section Fall Meeting, Norfolk, VA

          The Fall meeting of the Maryland-District of Columbia-Virginia Section of the Mathematical Assn. of America, scheduled this year at Norfolk State Univ., includes a Banquet Address by David Clark (Randolph-Macon College), “Samurai, Kissing Circles, and the Geometry of Shinto Shrines”. During the Tokugawa Period (1603-1868), Japan was almost completely isolated from the West, including the products of the Western revolutions in math and science. At the same time, the Japanese witnessed a cultural renaissance in the visual and performing arts, music, fashion, ceremony … and mathematics. New problems and solutions appeared in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines across the Japanese landscape. In this talk, Dr. Clark will explore how wasan (wa = Japanese, san = mathematics) became so delicately folded into 18th-Century Japanese culture.


November 21, 2019:  The Philadelphia Area Seminar on History of Mathematics (PASHoM), Villanova, PA

         To be held 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Room 300 of the Saint Augustine Center, Villanova Univ. Following conversation and a light supper (donation: $10.00), beginning at 7:00 Brittany Shields (Univ. of Pennsylvania) will speak on “Engineering Education for ‘Vital War Industries’: Mathematical Foundations in the US Engineering, Science and Management War Training Program during the Second World War”. The US Office of Education trained over 1.8 million citizens during the Second World War in emergency courses through the Engineering, Science and Management War Training Program. Spanning the duration of the war, the program established regional administrators to oversee the development and implementation of courses understood to be of vital importance to defense related industries. Over 200 colleges and universities participated in this robust program. This talk explores how the mathematical sciences fit into the larger engineering training program with a focus on the northeastern region of the US.


November 23, 2019:   Savilian Professors of Geometry: The First 400 Years, Oxford, England

          This all-day conference, organized by the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) to mark the quadricentenary of the founding of Oxford University’s Savilian Professors of Geometry, comprises seven lectures about the Savilian professors and their life, labours and legacy. The meeting is scheduled at the Bodleian Library at Oxford. In addition, the Bodleian will have a display in the Weston library from November to February to mark this anniversary.


December 4, 2019:  “Double Vision: Explorations of Alternative Math from History”, New York, NY

           Glen Van Brummelen (Quest Univ./ Institute for Advanced Study) presents a talk, “Double Vision: Explorations of Alternative Math from History”, twice (4 pm and 7 pm) at the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in Manhattan. Is there only one path to mathematics, or can we find different ways to explore the world around us? Throughout history, in different times and in different cultures, human creativity has found countless ways to investigate the same realities. Join Dr. Van Brummelen as we delve into several ancient ways of thinking in geometry, all but forgotten today. Ancient Chinese and Greek sages will help us realize that we really can change the way that we see! Part of MoMath’s popular public presentation series “Math Encounters”, which is free but registration is required using the link given above.


December 7, 2019:  BSHM Christmas Meeting, Coventry, England

          This year’s annual full-day Christmas meeting of the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) is scheduled at the Univ. of Warwick and is an eclectic mix of interesting historical mathematical issues.


December 19-20, 2019:   The Mathematical Book Trade in the Early Modern World, Oxford, England

           This workshop, scheduled at All Souls College, considers issues related to mathematical books as a distinct specialization for certain early modern print shops, and as works of special interest to certain readers and institutions. Mathematical tables, geometrical diagrams and the new algebraic notation made for a distinct appearance on the page and, for many of those involved in their production and use, a distinct class of book. Primers, textbooks and practical manuals as well as new editions of the mathematical classics and works containing new mathematics issued from the presses in large numbers and were purchased, collected, used, and in many cases re-sold, sometimes repeatedly. In what ways was the advertisement, sale and subsequent re-circulation of mathematical books distinctive? What was the place of mathematical books in the activity of book collectors and connoisseurs? Were there distinctive issues in respect of pricing or of re-use of mathematical print? How did the actual use of mathematical books relate to the stratification of the market attempted by some producers and sellers of those books? Proposals for papers, including an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief CV, should be e-mailed to Benjamin Wardhaugh by September 15, 2019.

 

2020


January 3-6, 2020:  epiSTEME 8, Mumbai, India

          The Eighth International Conference to Review Research in Science, TEchnology and Mathematics Education (epiSTEME 8) is the latest in a series of biennial meetings scheduled at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). One of the three strands of the conference is “Historical, Philosophical, and Socio-Cultural Studies of STME: Implications for Education”. The deadline for submission of papers is June 15, 2019.


January 8-9, 2020:  British Academy workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland

           This interdisciplinary workshop, sponsored by the British Academy and scheduled at the University of Edinburgh, is titled, "Universals' Locales: The International and Global History and Sociology of Modern Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences." Early-career scholars interested in the history or sociology of the modern theoretical and mathematical sciences are invited to explore the methods and implications of studying the local and global scales of seemingly universal knowledge. Conversations will be guided by Martina Merz (Alpen-Adria-Universität, Austria), Tatiana Roque (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), David Aubin (Sorbonne Université), and Ursula Martin (Edinburgh and Oxford Universities). Travel, accommodation, and meals during the workshop are funded for accepted participants. Applications are due by September 20, 2019 (use the link above). For any questions or expressions of interest, contact Michael J. Barany at the Univ. of Edinburgh.


January 15-18, 2020: AMS-MAA Joint Mathematics Meetings, Denver, CO

         The "largest mathematics conference in the world" is scheduled this year at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. It includes the following sessions relevant to the history of mathematics and its uses in teaching:

  • AMS-MAA Special Session on History of Mathematics, three sessions co-organized by Jemma Lorenat (Pitzer College), Sloan Despeaux (Western Carolina Univ.), Daniel E. Otero (Xavier Univ.), and Adrian Rice (Randolph-Macon College).
  • Contributed Paper Session, “A History of Mathematics in the United States and Canada: A Session in Honor of Math Historian David Zitarelli”, co-organized by Amy Shell-Gellasch (Eastern Michigan Univ.) and Toke Knudsen (SUNY-Oneonta).
  • MAA General Contributed Paper Session on History or Philosophy of Mathematics, co-organized by Cathy Erbes (Hiram College), Holley Friedlander (Dickinson College), and Steven McKay (Brigham Young Univ.).
  • Workshop, “Teaching Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Source Projects”, organized by the TRIUMPHS team (TRansforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Historical Sources). This NSF-funded team of mathematicians is designing classroom modules called Primary Source Projects (PSPs) that can be used to teach topics across the standard undergraduate mathematics curriculum through the reading and study of primary historical sources (in English translation).
  • HOM SIGMAA Reception, Business Meeting, and Guest Lecture by June Barrow-Green (The Open Univ.), “The Historical Representation of Women in Mathematics”.


March 31, 2020:  Deadline for 2020 HOM SIGMAA Student Paper Contest

          Entries to the 17th annual MAA History of Mathematics Special Interest Group Student Paper Contest are due to HOM SIGMAA Prize Coordinator Amy Shell-Gellasch by Tuesday, March 31, 2020. For more information, contact Amy Shell-Gellasch.


April 24-25, 2020:  24th Annual Recreational Mathematics Conference, South Lake Tahoe, CA

         This annual conference, organized by the California Mathematics Council of Community Colleges, always includes talks on historical topics.


July 6-8, 2020: Quinquennial BSHM-CSHPM/SCHPM Joint Meeting, St Andrews, Scotland

           Scheduled at the Univ. of St Andrews, this year with the theme "People, Places, Practices". Every five years, a conference is held jointly by the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) and its sister society, the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics (Société canadienne d'histoire et de philosophie des mathématiques) (CSHPM/SCHPM). The deadline to submit a proposal for a paper is November 30, 2019. Co-located with the Eleventh Conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices on July 8-10 (q.v. below).


July 8-10, 2020: Eleventh Conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices, St Andrews, Scotland

           Scheduled at the Univ. of St Andrews, this is a meeting of scholars from mathematics, philosophy, mathematics education, sociology, anthropology, automated reasoning, and history of mathematics. The participants are interested in cultural aspects of mathematical research practice, and in developing a view of the discipline based on empirical observations of the practices of mathematicians, taking into account the fact that cultures and practices of mathematics vary over time, space, and research community. The broad themes explored at the meeting include local mathematical cultures and styles; values in mathematics; the social nature of mathematical knowledge production; materiality of mathematics; and technological innovations. Co-located with the Qinquennial BSHM-CSHPM/SCHPM Joint Meeting on July 6-8 (q.v. above).


July 12-19, 2020: 14th quadrennial International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-14), Shanghai, China

         The ICME-14 program includes a total of 62 Topic Study Groups (TSGs). Of particular relevance to the study of the history of mathematics are these:

  • TSG 27, “The Role of the History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education”, co-chaired by Kathleen M. Clark (Florida State Univ.) and Constantinos Tzanakis (Univ. of Crete, Greece)
  • TSG 55, “The History of the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics”, co-chaired by Wagner Rodrigues Valente (Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil) and Alexander Karp (Columbia Univ.)


         The first-round window for submission of papers and posters to TSGs is Jun. 1 – Sep. 15, 2019.

         See also the HPM satellite meeting (July 21-25, 2020 entry, below).


July 20-23, 2020:  Nexus 2020, Kaiserslautern, Germany 

          The 14th international, interdisciplinary, biennial Nexus Conference on the Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics is hosted by the Faculty of Architecture at the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (FATUK) and sponsored by Kim Williams Books. Nexus 2020 is certain to have sessions that incorporate the history of the relation between architecture and mathematics.Submissions of presentation proposals are accepted only in the period Nov. 1-29, 2019.


July 21-25, 2020:  10th quadrennial HPM meeting, Macao, China

          HPM 2020, scheduled at the Univ. of Macau in SAR Macao, China, is the10th quadrennial meeting of the International Study Group on the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics— the HPM Group. It is a satellite conference of ICME-14 in Shanghai, China (see July 12-19, 2020 entry, above). The official languages of HPM 2020 are English and Chinese. The program includes plenary lectures, panels, workshops, and parallel sessions where participants present research reports, as well as poster exhibitions and exhibits of books and other didactical material. To submit a proposal for a research report, workshop, and/or poster, register for an account and submit the proposal via Microsoft CMT, and submit an abstract of at most 500 words no later than October 31, 2019.


August 1-5, 2020:  Bridges Conference, Helsinki and Espoo, Finland

         Scheduled this year at Aalto Univ. and the Univ. of Helsinki, "Bridges: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture" is the world’s largest interdisciplinary conference on mathematics and art. This annual conference is certain to have sessions that incorporate the history of the relation between the arts and mathematics. The submission deadline is February 1, 2020 for regular papers, and March 1, 2020 for short or workshop papers.


September 12, 2020:  History of Mathematics and Flight, Manchester, England

          This all-day Saturday event, scheduled at the Concorde Conference Centre at Manchester Airport, is a set of talks about the history of mathematics and flight, broadly conceived to include the flight of man-made objects, animals, and even fugitives, plus flight formation, navigation, and control. The day will include an optional tour of the Concorde flight deck.

 

2021

January 6-9, 2021:  AMS-MAA Joint Mathematics Meetings, Washington, DC


July 25-31, 2021:  26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic

          Scheduled at Charles University in Prague, this gathering is organized by the Division of History of Science and Technology (DHST) of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST). The theme of this year’s Congress is “Giants and Dwarfs in Science, Technology and Medicine”. The deadlines for submission of proposals are Apr. 30, 2020 for complete symposia, and Nov. 30, 2020 for stand-alone abstracts.

 

Please send Calendar items to Randy Schwartz.

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