I. Foley Award
In 2001 the National Board of Directors of Alpha Delta Gamma
Fraternity voted to bestow the Foley Outstanding Education of
the Year Award on Dr. Ronald Calinger. Nominees for this award
are scrutinized by ADG chapters across the country before the
final selection is made. The picture above has the ADG brothers
presenting the award to Dr. Calinger at the Student Center on
the Catholic University Campus.
II. The Euler Society
Founded in October of 2001, The Euler Society will examine the
life, times, and work of Leonhard Euler (1707 - 1783), along with
the impact of his discoveries on current research in the mathematical
sciences and engineering applications. Euler ranks with Archimedes,
Isaac Newton, and Karl Gauss as one of the four most eminent mathematical
scientists in history. This international learned society will
also contribute to current efforts to reinvigorate the teaching,
learning, and wider understanding of mathematics.
For further information on its mission statement, executive committee,
application forms, and first conference in Maine in August of
2002, please see www.eulersociety.org.
III. Good News
In January Manfred Kronfellner joined the grandparents' club.
Welcome Sarah. Congratulations to all.
IV. Poem of the Month
This month's poem is an excerpt from
Arithmetic, By Carl Sandberg.
V. Toward a New Biography of Euler: Historiography
As the tercentenary of the birth of the Swiss-born mathematical
scientist Leonhard Euler in 2007 approaches, efforts are beginning
to prepare the first full scale biography of him. Please click
here (PDF) for an essay
on historiographic issues.
VI. XXI International Congress of the History of Science Mexico
City, July 8 - 14, 2001
International Virtual Institute faculty will participate in the
21st International Congress of the History of Science. Prof. Ulf
Hashagen of the Deutsches Museum in Munich has organized a symposium
numbered SC 9 with the title: "On the History of the Relationship
of French and German Mathematics from the 18th to the 20th Century."
The speakers and topics are:
Sergio Nobre (Adjunto da Unesp, Brasil): "Biografias de Matematicos
fanceses en la Grande Enciclopedia Aleman des Siglo SVIII: Elementos
para la historiografia de las matematicas"
Ronald Calinger (The Catholic University of America, Washington,
D.C., USA): "Leonhard Euler's First Decade in Berlin"
Ulf Hashagen (Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany): "German and
French Mathematicians in the 1870s and 1880s"
Norbert Schappacher (University of Strassburg, France): "Arithmetization:
A Comparison of Germany and France from 1872 until the Wake of
Reinhard Siegmund-Schulze (Agder University College, Norway):
"Maurice Frechet and the University of Strassburg in the 1920s:
A Failed Attempt at Breaking German Dominance in Mathematics"
VII. "The Muse of History: Writing Biographies of Mathematicians"
A Session at the annual AMS/MAA Meetings in 2001 in New Orleans
The iVI arranged and conducted this session at the AMS/MAA meetings
in New Orleans on Wednesday, January 10, from 9:00 to 10:30. The
first half of the session was chaired by Saunders Mac Lane (Chicago),
and the second half by Manfred Kronfellner (TU-Wien). Please see
a full description of
the subjects and panelists.
VIII. John Fauvel Remembered
John Fauvel died the weekend of May 12. He has been a tireless
advocate of the integration of history with mathematics education.
His two most recent books are OXFORD FIGURES and HISTORY IN MATHEMATICS
IX. Clifford Truesdell Remembered
Clifford Truesdell of Johns Hopkins University died in January
2000. He was one of the foremost experts in the world on Leonhard
Euler. Please check the coming issues of THE ARCHIVE FOR HISTORY
OF EXACT SCIENCES for a review of his life and work.
X. First IVI On-Line Course
The IVI offered its first on-line course this summer. It covered
the history of mathematics from 1660 to 1930. (Please see History
638 for a general syllabus.) Mrs. Beatriz DelCastillo of Baltimore
was the student. Initially she was to respond to three questions
weekly from Dr. Calinger. But that quickly expanded to six to
nine in a dialogue format. Beatriz wrote a review of J. Dauben's
CANTOR and submitted her course paper on the study of binary numbers
at the turn of the eighteenth century. Reading Latin and French
sources, she uncovered an interesting exchange between Bernard
Fontenelle, the permanent secretary of the Paris Academy, and
Gottfried Leibniz. Fontenelle asked Leibniz to write a paper for
the MEMOIRES for 1700/01, but when Leibniz sent a paper on binary
numbers Fontenelle rejected it. The subject did not seem to be
of sufficient importance to Fontenelle. Leibniz's paper was subsequently
published by the Royal Brandenburg Society.
XI. A Colloquium in Commemoration of the 1500th Anniversary of
Zu Chongzhi's Death
From October 10 through 14, 2000 a colloquium commemorating
the 1500th Anniversary of the death of Zu Chongzhi will be held
at the Zu Chongzhi High School Keyuan Hotel at Yesanpo,
Laishui County, China.
Zu Chongzhi (425-500 AD) was a great mathematician
and astronomer in the fifth-century China. He also had marvelous
skill in engineering and literature. Among his various achievements,
his main contributions to science and technology include the computation
of pi, the calculation of the volume of sphere, the compilation
of the Daming calendar (462 AD), and the invention of the
Please see the First
Circular, which describes the event and provides details on
attending the colloquium.
XII. AMS/MAA Joint Meetings
Joint AMS/MAA meetings in Washington, D. C., January 19 - 23,
2000, Four IVI Sessions