A Mathematician’s Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern by Alexander Jones, Christine Proust, John M. Steele

By Alexander Jones, Christine Proust, John M. Steele

This publication explores elements of Otto Neugebauer's profession, his impression at the background and perform of arithmetic, and the ways that his legacy has been preserved or remodeled in fresh many years, watching for the instructions during which the learn of the heritage of technological know-how will head within the twenty-first century. Neugebauer, greater than the other student of modern occasions, formed the way in which we understand premodern technology. via his scholarship and effect on scholars and collaborators, he inculcated either an method of ancient examine on historical and medieval arithmetic and astronomy via distinctive mathematical and philological learn of texts, and a imaginative and prescient of those sciences as platforms of information and procedure that unfold outward from the traditional close to japanese civilizations, crossing cultural obstacles and circulating over an enormous geographical expanse of the previous international from the Atlantic to India.

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Extra info for A Mathematician’s Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern Transformations of Ancient Science

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While mainly remembered today as the “mother of modern algebra,” Noether was, like her father Max Noether, a true mathematical scholar steeped in the classical literature of the nineteenth century. In 1919 she wrote a major expository article in the Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung summarizing research in the arithmetical tradition of Dedekind and Weber, one major signpost being the book by Hensel and Landsberg (Noether 1919). Courant surely knew that report, and if he read it carefully he would have realized that this tradition had spawned a central field of research in modern mathematics, a field that was still rapidly unfolding.

Neugebauer, too, found this type of communal learning environment much to his liking, and he surely realized that Courant was a mathematician of unusual breadth. have caused the moon to travel around the earth in a curve [with nodal loops and] … with a speed exceedingly low in the outermost quadratures as compared with the motion at new and full moon. Nobody would have had the idea that the moon could rotate on a circle around the earth and all philosophers would have declared it as a logical necessity that a moon shows six half moons between two full moons.

That was precisely what Courant and his Mitarbeiter showed in producing the various new editions of Hurwitz-Courant and Courant-Hilbert, books that drew on research traditions with a long and rich history. E. Rowe Courant’s success as Springer’s front man in the world of mathematical publishing had much to do with an uncanny ability to motivate others, but it also had much to do with his own unusual background. His life had been one long, hard, uphill battle, but he had never fought alone. He could empathize with others because of the gratitude he felt toward those who had helped him along the way.

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