Date: 
Wednesday, October 2, 2002 
Speaker: 
Prof. Ronald Calinger
Department of History
Catholic University of America
calinger@cua.edu

Title: 
Leonhard Euler in Berlin to 1746: "I Think I Am the Happiest Man in the World"

Abstract: 
This paper will examine the life, work, and influence of Euler during
his first five years in Berlin from 1741 to 1746. During his quarter
century there, he completed or wrote more than 380 memoirs and books, of
which 275 were published by 1766. Their combined originality, depth, and
range make Euler's achievement unparalleled in the history of the
mathematical sciences. This paper begins with the initial Frederician
plans for a royal academy of the sciences and belles arts in Berlin, the
arrival of Euler, and his role in founding the academy. Next, it
investigates the most signal scientific contributions of Euler to 1746,
namely his landmark books on the calculus of variations and infinitary
analysis, his state project in ballistics, and his research in number
theory, mapping, and an influential pulse theory in optics. It closes
with his connections with the Paris and St. Petersburg Academies of
Science.


Date: 
Wednesday, November 6, 2002 
Speaker: 
Prof. Homer White
Department of Mathematics
Cornell University/Georgetown College
hwhite@math.cornell.edu

Title: 
More veterum Geometrarum: A Backroads Tour of Leonhard Euler's
Classical Euclidean Geometry.

Abstract: 
As a geometer, Leonhard Euler is probably bestknown for his work on
planar graphs and for the discovery of the Euler Line. However, his
lesserknown contributions to classical Euclidean geometry provide excellent
illustrations of Euler's commitment to a visual understanding of mathematics,
his ability to recover important themes from historical sources, and his
substantial influence on later mathematians, even in fields that were not
his central focus of interest. We will survey a few of Euler's delightful
"minor" results, place them in historical context, and consider their
possible uses in undergraduate teaching and research.


Date: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2002 
Speaker: 
Prof. Jeff Suzuki
Department of Mathematics
Bard College
suzuki@bard.edu

Title: 
Optimization Before Newton

Abstract: 
Today optimization is one of the traditional uses of the derivative,
though the problem of finding the maximum or minimum value of a
quantity is far older than calculus. We'll take a look at how
various optimization problems were solved by mathematicians from
Euclid to Archimedes to alKhayyami to Hudde, and examine the role
these problems played in the mathematics of the time, including
their place in the birth of calculus.


Date: 
Wednesday, February 5, 2003 
Speaker: 
Joan L. Richards
Department of History
Brown University
Joan_Richards@Brown.edu

Title: 
Mathematics in her dotage:
Radicals, rationals and reaction in England after the French Revolution

Abstract: 
In 1811, Charles Babbage famously contrasted the deism of
continental mathematics with the dotage of Cambridge University.
In this paper I want to move past Babbage's perhaps selfserving claim
about the dotage of his university, by exploring the state of
mathematics in Cambridge and in France in the years after the
French revolution.


Date: 
Wednesday, March 5, 2003 
Speaker: 
Prof. Adrian Rice
Department of Mathematics
RandolphMacon College
arice4@rmc.edu

Title: 
Inexplicable? The status of complex numbers in Britain, 17501850

Abstract: 
The period from the mid18th to the mid19th century is generally
regarded as the time when complex numbers were finally accepted as
legitimate algebraic objects by the mathematical community. It is
also widely considered to have been the work of Gauss that was
primarily responsible for bringing these numbers into the
mathematical mainstream. However, the story of the acceptance of complex
numbers was a little different in the British Isles.
This paper surveys the peculiarly British position towards complex and
imaginary numbers in the period up to around 1850, a subject which
still awaits a definitive history. Following a brief summary of the
early history of complex numbers, it highlights the largely forgotten
but influential research of two British mathematicians, John Warren
and John Thomas Graves. It then traces the influence of their work on
the changing British mathematical attitudes during this time, concluding
with a look at how the notion of "inexplicable quantities" subsequently
came to be extended.


Date: 
Wednesday, April 2, 2003 
Speaker: 
Prof. Lawrence D'Antonio
School of Theoretical and Applied Sciences
Ramapo College
ldant@ramapo.edu

Title: 
Title: Charles de Freycinet and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus

Abstract: 
The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus (FTC) plays a
familiar role in the modern calculus syllabus. The history behind
the FTC is important and interesting. How did it come to play this
role? Who gave the theorem its name? How has the presentation of
the theorem in calculus texts changed historically?
The history of the FTC parallels the development of the theory of
integration. This history follows a clearly defined path from the
geometric proofs of Newton and Leibniz, to the first rigorous proof
as presented by Cauchy, to the extension of the integral to
discontinuous functions by Riemann, and finally, to the version of
the FTC in Lebesgue's theory.
Who first called the FTC fundamental? The earliest source using the
phrase "Fundamental Theorem" for the FTC is the 1860 calculus text
of Charles de Freycinet, who, interestingly enough, later became the
premier of France. Freycinet, a student of Sturm at the Ecole
Polytechnique,is himself a minor figure in the history of mathematics,
but is representative of a long line of French analysts who worked on
the FTC (e.g., Lagrange, Cauchy, Sturm, Serret, Hermite, and Darboux).
An assortment of calculus texts are examined for the way in which
they present the FTC. Texts such as those by Euler, Lacroix,
DeMorgan, Raabe, Moigno, Church, Todhunter, Serret, Granville, and
Osgood are considered. In the end, some sense, hopefully, has been
conveyed of the evolution of a cornerstone of the calculus.


Date: 
Wednesday, May 7, 2003 
Speaker: 
Prof. Edward Sandifer
Department of Mathematics
Western Connecticut State University
sandifer@wcsu.ctstateu.edu

Title:

Euler's Fourteen Problems

Abstract: 
In 1757, Euler presented 14 unsolved "Quaestiones Mathematicae" and 18
"Quaestiones Physicae" to the St. Petersburg Academy. The problems seem
to be intended both to guide the research of the Academy and to provide
problems for the Academy's prize. The parallels with the Hilbert Problems
are inescapable. The problems provide a glimpse of what Euler thought were
the important problems of his day, and also into what he thought was the
nature and purpose of mathematics itself.

