How Many Authenticated Ancient Mathematical Artifacts are Known?

“How many authenticated ancient mathematical artifacts are known?” I recently asked myself this question while researching the history of mathematical proof. Ultimately, all historical theories must answer to the evidence. For mathematics, this means studying surviving parchment documents, cuneiform tablets, bamboo strips, bone markings, Stella inscriptions, calculating boards, and other objects, that inform our mathematical … Continue reading How Many Authenticated Ancient Mathematical Artifacts are Known?

On Eponymous Erasure

While slumming on the Internet I came across a woman complaining. Imagine my astonishment! The lady1, let’s call her Karen, had an esoteric complaint, it was: The Pythagorean Theorem was known long before his birth. Calling the theorem “Pythagorean” is a form of erasure. Oh my! Apparently, attributing a well-known mathematical result to a person … Continue reading On Eponymous Erasure

Don’t be a Weenie Launch Cassini

Future generations will remember Bill Clinton for two things, not having sex with that woman and authorizing the launch of Cassini. I was working in Dallas Texas in the months before Cassini's launch. It was 1997 and the Internet was just beginning to disrupt everyday life. Google was morphing from a thesis to a company … Continue reading Don’t be a Weenie Launch Cassini