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“The science of Mathematics is not crystallized into text-books” : The Bryn Mawr Mathematical Journal Club (1896 — 1924), (Jemma Lorenat, Pitzer College)
November 29 @ 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Title: “The science of Mathematics is not crystallized into text-books” : The Bryn Mawr Mathematical Journal Club (1896 — 1924)
Speaker: Jemma Lorenat, Pitzer College
Abstract: As mathematics departments in the United States began to shift toward standards of original research at the end of the nineteenth century, many adopted journal clubs as forums for students to synthesize and share new research. The Bryn Mawr Mathematical Journal Club, maintained episodically between 1896 and 1924, began as a supplement to the graduate course offerings. Each semester student and professor participants focused on a single disciplinary area or surveyed what had been published lately. The Notebooks containing these reports were stored on the open shelves of the college library. These collectively composed documents record ways in which graduate students transcribed and interpreted contemporary mathematics. This talk focuses on the entries of Virginia Ragsdale, in which she formulated research questions, tested potential strategies, and pursued novel results in topology.
Jemma Lorenat is a historian of mathematics at Pitzer College. She enjoys learning about the long nineteenth century, visualization, quantification, ordinary people becoming mathematicians, food, and many other things. Her forthcoming book is about how the local environment of Bryn Mawr College shaped mathematical practices there.