Date: 
Wednesday, October 14, 1998 
Speaker: 
Professor Patricia R. Allaire,
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,
Queensborough Community College,
CUNY
pallaire@qcc.cuny.edu 
Title: 
Artemas Martin: The Contributions of an Amateur Mathematician 
Abstract: 
Artemas Martin (18351918) was a selftaught mathematician
whose activity covered more than half a century. His work concentrated
on prime numbers, generalizations of FLT, probability, geometry, calculus,
and mathematics education. He was the founder two journals, The Mathematical
Visitor and The Mathematical Magazine, which paved the way for more formal
mathematical periodicals.
We present a brief biography and examine representative
samples of Martin's work. The role of his journals in the growth
of the fledgling American mathematical community in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth century will be discussed. 

Date: 
Wednesday, November 11, 1998 
Speaker: 
Professor Kim Plofker,
Department of the History of Mathematics,
Brown University
Kim_Plofker@brown.edu 
Title: 
"Guessing with intelligence:" experiments with fixedpoint
iterations and their convergence in medieval Indian astronomy 
Abstract: 
Although mathematicians since antiquity have relied on
iterative numerical methods for solving problems whose exact solutions
were impossible or impractical, such methods were not formally studied
in mathematics until very recently. Hence very little is known about
the extent to which premodern mathematicians actually investigated or
understood the behavior of these "quick and dirty" techniques. We
will examine some hints on this subject that emerge from medieval Sanskrit
texts during the 900year development of iterative solutions to a classic
problem of Indian astronomy, the determination of the "corner altitude"
of the sun. 

Date: 
Wednesday, December 16, 1999 
Speaker: 
Professor Herbert Kranzer
kranzer@adelphi.edu and
Professor Michael Yanowitch
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,
Adelphi University
Professor Sylvia Svitak
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,
Queensborough Community College,
CUNY
ssvitak@qcc.cuny.edu 
Title: 
A special program in honor of Frederick V. Pohle and
his contributions to mathematics 
Abstract: 
Accounts of the mathematical achievements of Fred's career
and personal anecdotes, from two of his colleagues at Adelphi and one his
former doctoral students. 

Date: 
Wednesday, February 17, 1999 
Speaker: 
Professor Ed Sandifer,
Department of Mathematics,
Western Connecticut State University
sandifer@wcsu.ctstateu.edu

Title: 
Two Early Tales of Divergent Series 
Abstract: 
Leonhard Euler and Daniel Bernoulli were 18th Century
contemporaries and friends. They often used tools of infinite series,
but were only beginning to become aware of the limitations of those tools,
limitations which were not fully explained until the middle of the 19th
Century. We discuss one seldomcited paper on infinite series by
each of them.
In the first, Euler uses (or misuses) the harmonic series
to give an elegant, but flawed proof of an otherwise hard to prove series
identity. In the second, Bernoulli shows how to evaluate the series
11+11 ... and get several different values, and, based on this, expresses
some doubts about the generality of the tools of infinite series.
The two papers taken together provide a snapshot of the
thoughts of the mathematical community at a time when it was just getting
ready to confront the foundations of calculus. 

Date: 
Wednesday, April 14, 1999 
Speaker: 
Professor Robert G. Stein
Department of Mathematics
Californai State University, San Bernardino
bstein@csusb.edu

Title: 
The History of Logarithms 
Abstract: 
John Napier, the idiosyncratic inventor of logarithms,
revolutionized scientific computation, but he did not think in terms of
inverses of exponential functions, integrals, or even exponents. How, then,
did his brilliant invention come about? How did logarithms evolve after
Napier? The development of logarithms was influenced in crucial ways
by other quests and controversies of the time. The story involves some
fascinating characters and surprising twists. 
