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Axis History and philosophy of mathematics

Reading Mathematical Texts

Organiser : Agathe Keller, Karine Chemla, Christine Proust, (CNRS, CHSA, SPHERE)

This seminar is organized around a presentation of a primary source and the problems it raises, followed by a reading of this published and translated source. A session of the seminar can last up to 3 hours, and is conducted by experienced researchers, doctoral students or even master’s students.

This seminar has a declension in the form of the cuneiform text reading seminar for those interested in cuneiform writing.

2011-2012, 2008-2009, 2012-2013,
2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016,
2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020

SCHEDULE 2020-2021

As soon as it is possible, the planning of the sessions will be displayed on this page and announced via our mailing lists

PROGRAM 2019-2020

October 7 November 4 December 16 !! postponed !! January 6, 2020 !! cancelled !! February 3 !! cancelled !! March 2 !! cancelled !! May 4 !! cancelled !! May 18 June 15
All sessions of SPHERE seminars are suspended from March 15 due to covid-19, the University is closed. Two sessions online in May and June (see below). We hope to be able to provide further updates and to see you as soon as possible.

On Mondays, 2pm – 5pm, Room Gris, 734A,
University Paris Diderot, Building Condorcet, 4, rue Elsa Morante, 75013 Paris *


11/4, 1:30 – 5:30pm

  • Guillaume Toucas (SPHERE)
    Late babylonian mathematical procedure texts
  • Guillaume Loizelet (Université de Paris (Diderot), SPHERE, & Université de Toulouse)
    Problèmes des Spheres chez Ptolémée et al-Biruni

2020/ 1/ 6, !! session cancelled !!!

  • Camille Lecompte (ArScAn-VEPMO)
    Calculer des surfaces aux époques archaïques (Mésopotamie, 4e et 3e millénaires avant l’ère commune) : des exemples tirés de tablettes de Jemdet-Nasr, Umma, Fara, Girsu et autres provenances inconnues

2/3, !! session cancelled !!!

  • Hasan Amini (University of Téhéran)
    A delicate method for the calculation of π in an anonymous 15th century text in Arabic
    In the history of mathematics, π as a special number and an important ratio has been calculated by various mathematical methods, invented to produce a better approximation. Al-Kāshī, a Persian astronomer and mathematician of the 14-15th century, is mostly known for his calculation of π correctly to 9 sexagesimal digits. In this reading/seminar,, we will decipher and study an abridged Arabic mathematical text, which is devoted to a different method to compute π. This anonymous text from the 15th century, referring to al-Kāshī, evidently is supplementary to his work, presenting a method with two different approximations for the computation of π.

3/2, !! session cancelled !!!

  • Alexei Volkov. (National Tsing Hua University)
    "Correcting" in the commentary of the chapter on inheritance of the Mukhta?ar Khal?l by the 19th century Saharan scholar Sidiyy? al-Kab?r

18/5, 2:00pm–4:00pm, session online

  • Alexis Trouillot
    "Correcting" in the commentary of the chapter on inheritance of the Mukhta?ar Khal?l by the 19th century Saharan scholar Sidiyy? al-Kab?r

15/6, session online

  • Adeline Reynaud (Univ. Paris Diderot, SPHERE)
    Variations entre les procédures, variations entre les formulations, variations entre les diagrammes dans la collection de problèmes paléo-babylonienne MS 3052

University Paris Diderot, Building Condorcet, 4, rue ElsaMorante, 75013 - Paris
Map of campus with metro and buses stops.
Access: Metro line 14 / RER C / Station: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand
Metro line 6 / Station: Quai de la Gare
Bus 64 / stop: Tolbiac-Bibliothèque François Mitterrand
Bus 62 & 89 / stop: Avenue de France or Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (terminus)
Bus 325 / stop: Watt