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Home > Archives > Past sponsored research projects > ERC Project SAW > Presentation



New Theoretical Approaches to the Sources and Socio-Political Issues of the Present Day

European Research Council Advanced Grant 2010: Principal Investigator : Karine CHEMLA, co-directors: Agathe KELLER & Christine PROUST

Project Extended Description

ATTENTION You will find scientific activities specific to the project and team members on the website SAW on the plateform Hypotheses

Summary: The SAW project is dedicated to mathematical sources that have come down to us from the ancient world, specifically, though not exclusively, to the sources produced in Mesopotamia, China, and the Indian sub-continent.

The ambition of SAW is to develop new theoretical approaches to the history of ancient mathematics, in order to highlight a variety of practices in the fields that today too often are presented as homogeneous whole, that is, “Mesopotamian mathematics”, “Chinese mathematics”, and “Indian mathematics”. To this end, SAW intends to concentrate on the mathematical sources related to two activities: astral sciences and state administrations in charge of financial matters. The goal is to create resources that would promote a new historical representation of mathematics.

The wider impact of the project is to define an alternative to the widespread vision of mathematics. The outcome of the research will be made available to school teachers and thus will contribute to bridge the gap between the young people and mathematical sciences.

- Project Extended Description

- Seminars : Scientific background

- Calls for applications

- Practical Information


SAW, SAW with SPHERE seminars, SAW talks in symposia}

Conferences, Workshops & Seminars SAW, mainly at the University Paris 7-Paris Diderot
– 2016-2015

Seminars SPHERE 2016–2011
Some sessions of the SPHERE seminars are conceived, organized and supported in the framework of the SAW project

The SAW group participates and organizes symposia in the context of international meetings, among them the History of Science Society (HSS), the International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine (ICHSTM), the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI) and the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS).
Details of talks of members of SAW Project here.

  • The 7th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS). Prague, September 22-25, 2016
  • The 7th European Congress of Mathematics, Plenary Talks. Berlin, July 18-22, 2016
  • The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS), Plenary session I, Minneapolis, USA, June 22-25, 2016
  • The 2015 History of Science Society Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Symposium. California, November 21-22, 2015
  • The 61st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Math & Realia – Workshop on mathematical practices in various sectors of Mesopotamian society. Bern, Switzerland, June 26, 2015
  • The 6th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science. Symposium “Rethinking modes of teaching and transmitting knowledge: a historical perspective in east and west”, Lisboa, Portugal, September 4-6, 2014
  • The 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine. The symposium on “Mathematical facets of measurement, measuring units,measured quantities and their uses". The symposium on “Knowledge at work across cultural boundaries” included three talks by SAW’s members. Manchester, July 2013
  • The 19th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS),
    The special panel "Meanings and uses of measuring units in pre-modern China", Paris, September 4-8, 2012