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

PIP News: Isabelle is Up!

Before my fall I launched a PIP (Perpetual Impossible Project).  PIPs are long-range risky undertakings that cannot be finished. PIPs contradict and subvert the very notion of tightly controlled corporate style projects: hence their manifest appeal to recusants like myself. I won't go into details about my particular PIP. Let's just say it captures every delusional notion I have ever entertained. Part of … Continue reading PIP News: Isabelle is Up!

Open Source Hilbert for the Kindle

David Hilbert While searching for free Kindle books I found Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg offers free Kindle books but they also have something better! Would you believe LaTeX source code for some mathematical classics. The best book I've found so far is an English translation of David Hilbert's Foundations of Geometry. Hilbert's Foundations exposed some … Continue reading Open Source Hilbert for the Kindle

C. K. Raju: Genius or Crank (Part 1)

Click here for a PDF version of this post. Euclid's first proposition Lately I have been amusing myself by working through Euclid’s Elements. Despite studying mathematics in university, teaching it in high school and occasionally using it in my software-soaked day job I never got around to reading Euclid. Euclid is routinely lionized as the … Continue reading C. K. Raju: Genius or Crank (Part 1)