Computer Science hosts History of Mathematics
The Department of Computer Science and the Mathematics Institute jointly hosted, last Saturday 7th December, the Christmas Meeting for 2019 of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.
Our Departments have a long and strong association with the BSHM which has an established tradition of having its Christmas meeting in the Midlands. With about 50 participants, including some staff and students from both our Departments, there were 8 talks in the day ranging from figurate numbers in the 9th century, Islamic use of sexagesimal calculation for π and sine values in the 15th century, to fascinating details of Victorian data processing and the mathematical semantics of programming languages in more recent times.
There were plenty of interesting questions arising and lively discussions in the refreshment intervals. There was also a presentation of the BSHM Neumann Prize and the Society's AGM.
The day was widely acclaimed as enjoyable and successful. Our thanks are due to both Departments for their sponsorship, to the admin and technical support in Computer Science, and to the local organising work of Steve Russ and Adam Jones. Further information about the BSHM is at https://www.bshm.ac.uk/.
Full list of speakers:
- Helen Ross - Dicuil and triangular numbers
- Steve Russ - Visions in the night: Bolzano's anticipations of continuity
- Jane Wess - From Newton to Newcomen: mathematics and technology 1687-1800
- Troy Astarte - On the difficulty of describing difficult things
- Catalin Iorga - Known and unknown in Al-Kashi's mathematics
- Robin Wilson - Hunting and counting trees: the world of Cayley and Sylvester
- Chris Pritchard - From collecting coins to searching the archives: personal reflections on becoming a historian of mathematics
- Martin Campbell-Kelly - Victorian data processing