“A Global History of Mathematics from 1650 to 2017”
University of California – Berkley
Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society
Friday, October 13, 2017
Van Vleck Hall, 9th Floor Lounge
Abstract: This is a talk on the global history of mathematics. We will first focus on France by revisiting some of the conversations between Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) and Pierre de Fermat (1607–1665). These two “mathematicians” discussed ways of calculating the possibility of winning a gamble and exchanged their opinions on geometry. However, what about the rest of the world? We will embark on a long oceanic voyage to get to East Asia and uncover the unexpected consequences of blending foreign mathematical knowledge into domestic intelligence, which was occurring concurrently in Beijing and Kyoto. How did mathematicians and scientists contribute to the expansion of knowledge? What lessons do we learn from their experiences?