Logic List Mailing Archive

One week history of mathematics graduate course (Leiden, The Netherlands, Sep 2004)

Stieltjes Onderwijsweek: History of Mathematics graduate course in

from 6 Sep 2004 through 10 Sep 2004

Great mathematicians may be represented as lone mathematical wizards,
getting their best ideas in splendid isolation. Yet, the truth is
different; mathematicians work in groups and their results are always
intimately related to the work of predecessors and contemporaries. This is
the perspective from which they will be studied during the Stieltjes Week
on Biography: mathematicians in their research communities. In this way
the great mathematicians will become more than names connected to a
theorem or a footnote reference in a textbook. The Stieltjes Institute
offers graduate students this unique opportunity to attend an intensive
course in the history of mathematics taught by well-known historians of
mathematics from the Netherlands and abroad.  Historians of mathematics
from all three Dutch research schools in mathematics take part. Special
guest from abroad is Jeremy Gray of the Open University (UK).

The course will introduce mathematicians to the history of their field by
a combination of lectures and active participation. Each day will start
with a biographical lecture, exemplifying the genre from Omar al-Khayyam
to Hilbert. Further lectures offer a historical overview of mathematics
and methodological background. Taking the maximum profit from the Leiden
environment, excursions are planned to museums and archives. During the
week participants will be coached towards writing a brief biographical
essay themselves on their favorite mathematical "hero". This is a guided
endeavour in which the student is assisted in recognizing and overcoming
the pitfalls of the consecutive stages of biography (from collecting data,
through heroic legend to focus and synthesis). The writing and rewriting
in small workshops will lead up to the presentation of finished stories in
a poster session on Friday.

The week finishes with a public lecture on Friday afternoon, September
10th. We are happy to announce Prof essor Jeremy Gray of the Open
University at Milton Keynes, who will discuss Hilbert and the Goettingen
community. Contrary to earlier announcement this course will be taught
entirely in English.

Stieltjes Week, organized on behalf of the Stieltjes Institute, is a
graduate course, which in Dutch terms means that PhD students but students
advancing towards their Masters degree (drs. or ma.) as well are
cordially invited to participate. Students from all schools in mathematics
and adjacent areas are welcome to participate. Students may gain credits
ad 2 ECTS for participation, or 3 ECTS for participation after preparatory

The course is free but registration is required. Don't hesitate, register
right now! And tell us who your hero in the history of mathematics is.
Register at the Lorentz Center site. Go to


click on year 2004 and go to the September 6-10 course. You will find the
program there as well.