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History and Philosophy of Mathematics Seminar (organizational meeting and reading discussion)

Avery 202, Pitzer College 1050 N Mills Ave, Claremont, CA

The first meeting of this semester's seminar in the history and philosophy of mathematics will take place on Monday, September 19th from 3 to 4 PM in Avery 202 on the Pitzer Campus (and on zoom). We will spend the time sharing ideas for future meetings and discussing the chapter on "Algebraic Logic" (chapter 9) in Lukas Verburgt's new book […]

H.S.M. Coxeter’s Theory of Accessibility: A Narrative in the Language of Synthetic Projective Geometry (Elena Marchisotto, Cal State Northridge)

Avery 202, Pitzer College 1050 N Mills Ave, Claremont, CA

The relation of accessible points in a projective incidence plane defined by Coxeter in the 1960s is the focus of my narrative. It reveals historical pathways bookending the 19th and 20th centuries that bring G.K.C. von Staudt, Mario Pieri, Marvin Greenberg and others into the conversation. The published references to Coxeter’s theory, including his own, […]

The Sceptical Mathematician: How John Wallis Saved Mathematics for the Royal Society (Amir Alexander, UCLA)

Avery 202, Pitzer College 1050 N Mills Ave, Claremont, CA

The members of the “Invisible College” and the early Royal Society championed an experimental approach to the study of nature as the proper path to the advancement of knowledge and the preservation of civic peace. Mathematics, while admired, was also viewed with suspicion, as potentially dogmatic and coercive. John Wallis, the leading mathematician in the […]

Confronting the Legacy of the Human Betterment Foundation at Caltech 

Avery 202, Pitzer College 1050 N Mills Ave, Claremont, CA

The Human Betterment Foundation was a pro-eugenics think-tank operating in the 1930s and early 1940s out of Pasadena, California. Its aim was to influence public and medical opinion in favor of sterilization of "socially undesirable elements": disabled, poor, and racialized people. Many board members had ties to Caltech, most notably Caltech's then-president Robert Millikan. Upon […]

Deniz Sarikaya on Narratives of Mathematical Practice (and why they matter!)

Claremont, CA

Deniz Sarikaya joining us from the Technical University of Denmark and speaking on "Narratives of Mathematical Practice (and why they matter!)" (abstract below).   The speaker will join via zoom, but there will be a live audience on the second floor of Pitzer College's Gold Student Center in the Multipurpose room (in the building marked 3 here: https://www.pitzer.edu/about/maps-directions/quick-reference-map/). […]