Date: 
Wednesday, October 6, 2004 
Speaker: 
Dr. Vicki Hill
American University
Vickilynnhill@aol.com

Title: 
Constantin Caratheodory: 18731950

Abstract: 
The talk will feature a screening of the documentary Constantin
Caratheodory: 18731950, written and directed by Dr. Vicki Hill,
and the winner of two Telly Awards in 2004.
The documentary chronicles the life and mathematical work of the Greek
mathematician, Constantin Caratheodory. It follows Caratheodory's life
through joys and hardships. Caratheodory was witness to some of the
greatest tragedies of the 20th century: World War I, the Turkish
invasion of Asia Minor, the Nazi era and World War II. Although a
Greek, Greece was not his home. He remained loyal from afar, in
Germany, where he had influence and stature in academia and mathematics.
This presentation will also include remarks on Caratheodory, on of the
production of the documentary, and on the nature of mathematical
biography.


Date: 
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 
Speaker: 
Prof. Fernando Gouvea
Department of Mathematics
Colby College
fqgouvea@colby.edu

Title: 
Beyond the Marquis: Towards a History of L'Hospital's Rule

Abstract: 
Many history books discuss the original publication of L'Hospital's
rule, emphasizing the story of the Marquis de L'Hospital's deal with
Johann Bernoulli. This leaves many questions unanswered. For example,
if we look at how the rule was stated and proved by L'Hospital, we find
that neither the statement nor the proof look much like what we do
today. This talk, which is based on joint work with Colby student
Melissa Yosua, will attempt to fill in the rest of the story, both
preMarquis and postMarquis, and consider its place within the broader
history of analysis.


Date: 
Wednesday, December 1, 2004 
Speaker: 
Prof. Duncan Melville
Department of Mathematics
St. Lawrence University
dmelville@stlawu.edu

Title: 
Origins and Development of the Sexagesimal Number System

Abstract: 
In the early history of the decipherment of cuneiform, Old Babylonian
mathematics seemed to spring from the ground fully formed. However, the
scribes of the Old Babylonian period (2000  1600 BC) were heirs to a
written tradition a thousand years old. Only quite recently have we
begun to understand that background and be able to trace,a t least in
outline, this earlier history. In this lecture, I will describe the
development of Mesopotamian mathematics from the earliest times through
to the Old Babylonian period, with emphasis on arithmetic and the
development of the sexagesimal number system.


Date: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2005 
Speaker: 
Prof. Sylvester Reese
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Queensborough Community College  CUNY
sylreese@yahoo.com

Title: 
Is S = &radic 2 + ln(1 + &radic 2) an Old or New Constant?

Abstract: 
Abstract: This talk is a progress report on an ongoing study to
determine whether S is an overlooked or a neglected mathematical
constant.


Date: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 
Speaker: 
Prof. Janet Beery
Mathematics Department
University of Redlands
janet_beery@redlands.edu

Title: 
Thomas Harriot's Treatise on Figurate Numbers, Finite
Differences, and Interpolation Formulas

Abstract: 
Thomas Harriot (1560?1621) may be best known as the navigator
and scientist for Sir Walter Ralegh's 15851586 expedition
to the Virginia Colony, but he also was the leading English
mathematician of his day. Harriot made groundbreaking
discoveries in a wide range of mathematical sciences,
including algebra, geometry, navigation, astronomy, and optics.
He published only one work during his lifetime, A Briefe and
True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1588), but,
at his death, left thousands of manuscript pages of mathematics,
including at least two sets that appear to have been ready for
press, a very complete theory of polynomial equations and a
much shorter treatise entitled De Numeris Triangularibus et
inde De Progressionibus Arithmeticis. We shall examine the
contents of this latter treatise, survey some of Harriot's other
mathematical work, and review Harriot's very interesting life.


Date: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2005 
Speaker: 
Prof. Sanford Segal
Department of Mathematics
University of Rochester
ssgl@math.rochester.edu

Title: 
Wilhelm Blaschke and Helmut Hasse
as mathematicians under the Nazis

Abstract: 
Two of the most distinguished mathematicians of the twentieth century
were Wilhelm Blaschke and Helmut Hasse. During the Nazi era both led a
distinguished mathematics department in Germany. Both have been accused
of Nazi fellowtravelling. Both applied for membership in the Nazi
party. The complicated lives of both during this complicated period
will be briefly examined.


Date: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2005 
Speaker: 
Prof. David Bellhouse
Department of Statistical & Actuarial Sciences
University of Western Ontario
drb@stats.uwo.ca

Title:

Abraham De Moivre: Genius in Exile

Abstract: 
November 27, 2004, marked the 250th anniversary of the death of Abraham
De Moivre, best known in statistical circles for his famous largesample
approximation to the binomial distribution, whose generalization is now
referred to as the Central Limit Theorem. De Moivre, a Huguenot refugee
from France living in England, was one of the great pioneers of
classical probability theory. He also made seminal contributions in
analytic geometry, complex analysis and the theory of annuities. A
review of his major work is given in the context of his life in England
and the social background in which he worked. This talk is based, in
part, on joint work carried out with Christian Genest of Université Laval.

