Category Archives: history

the shadow of the past

Famous on both sides of the world

The pictures are self-explanatory: the first is in Pittenweem, in Fife, Scotland, the second on the campus of the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

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Pappus and Diophantus

This post is inspired by a nice article by Adrian Rice and Ezra Brown in the latest BSHM Bulletin, titled “Commutativity and collinearity: a historical case study of the interconnection of mathematical ideas, Part II”. Pappus’ Theorem states that, if … Continue reading

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Photography in St Andrews, art in Pittenweem

St Andrews is currently hosting a big photography festival. Because Fox Talbot’s patent on his photographic process was not valid in Scotland, local St Andrews photographers were able to have a go themselves, and develop the process. The festival covers … Continue reading

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An LTCC book

The Taught Course Centres for PhD students in the Mathematical Sciences were set up as the result of a recommendation of the last-but-one International Review of Mathematics. The review panel said that the highly specialised nature of British PhDs meant … Continue reading

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Christians and Muslims

Christianity and Islam are siblings. Like most siblings, they spend a lot of time fighting bitterly, but they can also collaborate in a spirit of tolerance and even love. So I was very pleased to see this in Istanbul last … Continue reading

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Museum of the History of Science

(This is being posted from Istanbul, with some delay because of problems with the wi-fi.) This small museum is one of the minor gems of the university city of Oxford. It was founded in 1924 as the result of a … Continue reading

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John Wallis

I guess that, if most mathematicians were asked about John Wallis, they would say that he had an infinite product formula for π. I knew, too, that he was a cryptanalyst in the mid-seventeenth century: I got this from Iain … Continue reading

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