Historians Challenge Oxford’s Claim of World’s Oldest Zero

An international group of historians of Indian mathematics challenges Oxford’s findings around the age and importance of a manuscript thought to contain the oldest known zero.

The First Zero

When did the mathematical zero begin being used? New research revealed this week by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries shows that a manuscript from India bearing the symbol was written in the 3rd or 4th century, making it the world’s oldest recorded origin of the zero that we use today.

Leonardo, Rapunzel and the Mathematics of Hair

From Leonardo da Vinci to the Brothers Grimm our fascination with hair has endured in art and science.

Can You Solve Alcuin’s Puzzles?

A man had to take a wolf, a goat and a bunch of cabbages across a river. The only boat he could find could only take two of them at a time. But he had been ordered to transfer all of these to the other side in good condition. How could this be done.

Why learning numbers was so hard in medieval Europe

Most history books gloss over the introduction of numbers, but a recent article explains that ‘the uptake of the new numerals was slow, problematic, and spasmodic’

Teaching Math in the Middle Ages

Today I would like to talk about the places mathematics and mathematical pedagogy in particular appear in the Latin writing of the medieval world.

Medieval Studies and STEM

Here are 15 ways that medieval studies and STEM are working together.

Medieval Math Problems

A messenger is sent to a town and advances daily by twenty miles. In how many days will another messenger, sent five days later and advancing daily by thirty miles, overtake him?

Apocalyptic Calculators of the Later Middle Ages

The purpose of my talk today is to explore why and how astrology became an accepted tool for apocalyptic calculation in the later Middle Ages.

Experience and Meaning in the Cathedral Labyrinth Pilgrimage

A medieval design based in Sacred Geometry principles, this unicursal path through concentric circles is a metaphorical container for spiritualjourneying.

Four Medieval Manuscripts With Mathematical Games

Focuses on the medieval manuscripts of Bodleian Library, Sussex College, Gonville and Caius College that present mathematical games. How the Josephus Problem was presented in Bodleian Library manuscript; Explanation on symbols in Sussex College manuscript which describe the Josephus Problem; Errors of presenting the problem founded in the manuscript of Gonville and Caius College.

Literature, Logic and Mathematics in the Fourteenth Century

This thesis assesses the extent to which fourteenth-century Middle English poets were interested in, and influenced by, traditions of thinking about logic and mathematics.

The Transmission of Medieval Mathematics and the Origins of Gothic Architecture

Mathematics and art history, two seemingly separate fields, ultimately relate to and complement one another through the medium of architecture.

The Scientific World of the Crown of Aragon under James I

This article seeks to provide a general overview of the cultural landscape during the reign of James I, with a particular focus on science.

Hidden in Plain Sight: The “Pietre di Paragone” and the Preeminence of Medieval Measurements in Communal Italy

Propelled by an active engagement with measurements, the medieval communes devised a revolutionary method to preserve these measurements, which I call Pietre di Paragone.

The Oxford Calculators

Oxford’s medieval philosophers deserve greater recognition, says Mark Thakkar

Jacopo da Firenze and the beginning of Italian vernacular algebra

Whatever the reason, nobody seems to have taken an interest in the treatise before Warren Van Egmond inspected it in the mid-seventies during the preparation of his global survey of Italian Renaissance manuscripts concerned with practical mathematics.

History of Mathematics Education in the European Middle Ages

From the point of view of mathematics education, the Dark Ages are even ‘darker’ than other aspects of literate culture.

Rithmomachia: the lost mathematical treasure of the dark ages

Many presume that the inventor of Rithmomachia is Boethius or perhaps even Pythagoras. The oldest piece of written evidence dating back to 1030, however, depicts the original creator to be a monk named Asilo.

Thomas Bradwardine: Forgotten Medieval Augustinian

In spite of this dearth of scholarly publications on Bradwardine, he deserves serious consideration. From a church historical perspective, he represents a resurgence of a relatively pure Augustinianism in the late Middle Ages.

The Alcuin number of a graph

A man had to transport to the far side of a river a wolf, a goat, and a bundle of cabbages. The only boat he could find was one which would carry only two of them. For that reason he sought a plan which would enable them all to get to the far side unhurt. Let him, who is able, say how it could be possible to transport them safely?

How a Medieval Troubadour Became a Mathematical Figure

Lyric poetry of the Middle Ages may seem far removed from subgroups of the symmetric group or primitive roots of finite fields. However, one piece of medieval poetry has led to work in these mathematical disciplines, namely a sestina written in the Romance language of Old Occitan by a troubadour named Arnaut Daniel

Of Our Own Nation: John Wallis’s Account of Mathematical Learning in Medieval England

In A treatise of algebra both historical and practical, John Wallis wrote the first survey of the state of mathematical learning in medieval England, and discussed with particular care the arrival and significance of the Hindu–Arabic numeral system

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