Strange episodes in the evolution of mathematics
Prof. F. Quinn (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universit)
Friday 10th May, 2013 16:00-17:00 Mathematics 516
Most historical accounts present the material heavily filtered by hindsight, and focus on the roots of modern mathematics. But the original motivation for most of these "roots" was dramatically different from ours. Understanding the development in historical context gives a richer and more consistent picture, but it is a very odd story. We also see that many of the strange ideas about mathematics held by the public and the educational community a re directly descended from ancient goals and motivations.