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Report to the International Mathematical Union 1996

By Eberhard Knobloch, Chairman

from the Bulletin of the Internation Mathematical Union No. 40, December 1996

Past congresses to which the ICHM contributed

Conference and Workshop on Geometry and Physics 1900-1930, March 14-19, 1996

Jeremy Gray, United Kingdom, organized this international conference in Milton Keynes, UK. 28 lectures were given, among others by Jesper Luetzen, Skuli Sigurdsson, Karin Reich, ICHM members of Denmark, Iceland, and Germany, respectively.

The growth of mathematical knowledge, April 26-29, 1996

This international conference on the history and philosophy of mathematics was organized by Herbert Breger, Germany, and Emily Grosholz, USA, in State College, Pennsylvania, USA. Twelve historians of mathematics presented case studies which were commented on by philosophers of mathematics. The chairman of the ICHM was one of the speakers.

Descartes et le Moyen Age, June 4-7, 1996

Joel Biard, France, organized this international conference in Paris. Five lectures dealt with the history of mathematics, especially those of Chikara Sasaki, Japanese member of the Executive Committee (EC) of the ICHM, and of the chairman of the ICHM.

Third International Conference on Ancient Mathematics, July 30-August 3, 1996

Vassilis Karasmanis, Greece, organized this conference in Delphi, Greece. 24 lectures were given, among others by John L. Berggren, Sabetai Unguru, Jean Christianidis, ICHM members of Canada, Israel, Greece, respectively and by the chairman of the ICHM.

Eighth International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia, August 26-31, 1996

This conference was organized by Kim Yong-woon, Korean member of the ICHM in Seoul, Korea. 29 lectures dealt with the history of the mathematical sciences, among others those of Karine Chemla and Li Di, ICHM members of France and China, respectively.

International Workshop on the History of Mathematics, November 3-9, 1996

This workshop was organized by Kirsti Andersen, Vice-Chairman of the ICHM, Denmark, Henk J.M. Bos, The Netherlands, and Menso Folkerts, Treasurer of the ICHM, in Oberwolfach/Walke, Germany. Its subject was "Significant Changes in Our Picture of Mathematics Past: Crucial Results of Four Decades of Research in the History of Mathematics". Fifteen presentations and six comments were given, among others those by Ahmed Djebbar, Algerian member of the ICHM, and by Laura Toti Rigatelli, Italian member of the EC of the ICHM.

Experience and Knowledge Structures in Arabic and Latin Sciences, December 16-17, 1996

Mohamed Abattouy, Morocco, organized this international conference in Berlin, Germany. The conference especially dealt with Arabic mathematics and astronomy. Menso Folkerts, Treasurer of the ICHM, was one of the speakers.

The Second European Honors Course in the History of Mathematics, September 2-20, 1996

The course was concerned with the history of 19th-century mathematics and took place in Palermo, Italy. It was organized by Aldo Brigaglia, Italy. Karin Reich, German member of the ICHM, was one of the lecturers. Some twenty advanced students of the history of mathematics participated in the course.

Future Congresses

XXth International Congress of History of Science, Liège (Belgium), July 20-26, 1997

The congress will focus on "Science, Technology, and Industry." Two symposia have been organized on behalf of the ICHM: 1. The Heritage of A.P. Yushkevich, co-organized by K. Chemla, S. Demidov, E. Knobloch; 2. Formation of a Research Area and a Scientific Community: Applied Mathematics, co-organized by Giorgio Israel and Joe W. Dauben.

The European Honors Course in History of Mathematics

The third Honors Course of the SOKRATES Inter-university Cooperation Program "History of Mathematics" will be organized by Ivor Grattan-Guinness in Enfield, UK, July 14-August 1, 1997. Its subject will be mathematics education and its institutions.

International Congress of Mathematicians, Berlin 1998

A Nominating Committee chaired by Karen Parshall, USA, elected five candidates for historical lectures which will be given on the occasion of the IMU.

Ongoing projects

Revised ICHM Bibliography

Albert Lewis, Canada, with the concurrence of the ICHM, will serve as Chief Editor of the CD-Rom edition of Joseph W. Dauben's Selected Bibliography on History of Mathematics. The AMS will be the publisher. The contract will be submitted to the ICHM through its Chairman.

ICHM Dictionary on History of Mathematics

The Dictionary project edited by John Fauvel, UK, continues to progress. It is to be published by Oxford University Press.

ICHM Historiography project

This project will be finished presumably in 1998. It is directed by Joseph W. Dauben and Christoph J. Scriba, who organized a meeting of the collaborators in Oberwolfach, Germany, in 1996. The aim is to describe the history of mathematics from the first historical writings on mathematics by the ancient Greeks and Chinese to the present.

Electronical availability of Historia Mathematica

The journal Historia Mathematica, the official publication of the ICHM, is available electronically from the International Digital Electronic Access Library (IDEAL). IDEAL can be visited through Academic Press's home page at