Oxford Figures: Eight Centuries of the Mathematical Sciences

Oxford Figures: Eight Centuries of the Mathematical Sciences

Hardcover(2nd ed.)

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This is the story of the intellectual and social life of a community, and of its interactions with the wider world. For eight centuries mathematics has been researched and studied at Oxford, and the subject and its teaching have undergone profound changes during that time. This highly readable and beautifully illustrated book reveals the richness and influence of Oxford's mathematical tradition and the fascinating characters that helped to shape it.

The story begins with the founding of the University of Oxford and the establishing of the medieval curriculum, in which mathematics had an important role. The Black Death, the advent of printing, the Civil War, and the Newtonian revolution all had a great influence on the development of mathematics at Oxford. So too did many well-known figures: Roger Bacon, Henry Savile, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, Edmond Halley, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), and G. H. Hardy, to name but a few. Later chapters bring us to the 20th century, with some entertaining reminiscences by Sir Michael Atiyah of the thirty years he spent as an Oxford mathematician.

In this second edition the story is brought right up to the opening of the new Mathematical Institute in 2013 with a foreword from Marcus du Sautoy and recent developments from Peter M. Neumann.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199681976
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2013
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

John Fauvel was a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the Open University and a former President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. A major figure in the international history of mathematics, he was particularly involved with relationships between the history and pedagogy of mathematics. He died in 2001.

Raymond Flood is the Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. He is Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford, having formerly been Vice-President of the College. He was University Lecturer in Computing Studies and Mathematics at the Department for Continuing Education, Oxford University, and was President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.

Robin Wilson is an Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University, Emeritus Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London, and a former Fellow of Keble College, Oxford. He is currently President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. He is involved with the popularization and communication of mathematics and its history, and has been awarded prizes by the Mathematical Association of America for his 'outstanding expository writing'.

Table of Contents

Foreword to Second Edition, Marcus du Sautoy
Foreword to First Edition, I. M. James
Introduction: Eight centuries of mathematical traditions, John Fauvel
1. Medieval Oxford, John North
2. Renaissance Oxford, John Fauvel and Robert Goulding
3. Mathematical instruments, Willem Hackmann
4. The first professors, Allan Chapman
5. John Wallis, Raymond Flood
6. Edmond Halley, Allan Chapman
7. Oxford's Newtonian school, Allan Chapman
8. Georgian Oxford, John Fauvel
9. Thomas Hornsby and the Radcliffe Observatory, Allan Chapman
10. The 19th century, Keith Hannabuss
11. Henry Smith, Keith Hannabuss
12. Charles Dodgson, Robin Wilson
13. James Joseph Sylvester, John Fauvel
14. The 20th century, Margaret E. Rayner
15. Some personal reminiscences, Sir Michael Atiyah
Epilogue: Recent developments, Peter M. Neumann

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