Fall 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020
Ekaterina Babintseva, Harvey Mudd College
"Of Minds and Computers: Harnessing Mathematical Creativity"
9:00am, via Zoom (Meeting ID: 969 3763 1191;  Passcode: 310555)
Abstract: In the mid-20th century, “creative thinking” became a prominent category in American psychology and pedagogy. Advanced by cognitive psychologists as both a descriptive and a normative characteristic of the human self, the notion of creative thinking soon came to shape many mid-century debates in mathematics pedagogy. This paper traces the work of the educational psychologists and mathematicians at the University of Illinois who attempted to create special computer software that would teach creative thinking in mathematics. Developed for the University of Illinois’ PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) teaching computer, this software sought to introduce students to the intuitive aspect of mathematical thinking. Following this research through the 1960s-1970s, this paper discusses how scientists used PLATO as a laboratory for testing mid-century theories of learning and approaches to math education.
FMI: contact Prof. Jemma Lorenat

Friday, October 2, 2020
Lucas Bang, Harvey Mudd College
"Abstraction and Computation: a history of the future?"
9:00am, via Zoom (Meeting ID: 969 3763 1191;  Passcode: 310555)
Abstract: Computer science is a direct descendent of logic and mathematics. The crucial notion that computer science inherits from math is that of abstraction. In this talk, we will analyze the tension created by abstraction as both a discourse of progress and a discourse of forgetting. While doing so, we will draw a thread through the history of logic and mathematics, phenomenological aspects of human experience, intractability results, and social injustices created by computational thinkers. Taken together, these observations compel us to take a long view of the future of computation as it is increasingly woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.
FMI: contact Prof. Jemma Lorenat

Friday, September 18, 2020
Edray Goins, Pomona College
"The Black Mathematician Chronicles: Our Quest to Update the MAD Pages"
9:00am, via Zoom (Meeting ID: 969 3763 1191;  Passcode: 310555)
Abstract: In 1997, Scott Williams (SUNY Buffalo) founded the website ``Mathematicians of the African Diaspora,'' which has since become widely known as the MAD Pages. Williams built the site over the course of 11 years, creating over 1,000 pages by himself as a personal labor of love. The site features more than 700 African Americans in mathematics, computer science, and physics as a way to showcase the intellectual prowess of those from the Diaspora. Soon after Williams retired in 2008, Edray Goins (Pomona College), Donald King (Northeastern University), Asamoah Nkwanta (Morgan State University), and Weaver (Varsity Software) have been working since 2015 to update the Pages.  Edray Goins led an REU of eight undergraduates during the summer of 2020 to write more biographies for the new MAD Pages. In this talk, we discuss the results from Pomona Research in Mathematics Experience (PRiME), recalling some stories of the various biographies of previously unknown African American mathematical scientists, and reflecting on some of the challenges of running a math history REU. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation (DMS-1560394).
FMI: contact Prof. Jemma Lorenat

Spring 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020
Giselle Secco, Universidad Federal de Santa Maria
Title: TBA
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Monday, April 6, 2020
Jemma Lorenat (moderator), Pitzer College
Subject: TBA, a Reading Discussion
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Monday, March 23, 2020
Amir Alexander, University of California Los Angeles
"The Sceptical Mathematician: How John Wallis Saved Mathematics for the Royal Society"
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Monday, March 9, 2020 -- CANCELLED
Sloan Despeaux, Western Carolina University
"Competition, Conflict, and Survival of the Fittest in a rapidly-changing commercial publishing venue for mathematics"
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Fall 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019
Michael Friedman, Humboldt University Berlin
"On branch points and branch curves at the turn on the 19th century"
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Monday, November 11, 2019
Jeffrey Oaks, University of Indianapolis
"Arithmetical Proofs in Arabic Algebra"
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Monday, October 14, 2019
Gabriel Greenberg, University of California Los Angeles
"The Semantics of Iconic and Symbolic Representation"
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page.

Thursday, October 10, 2019
Alyssa Newman, Harvey Mudd College
"Mixing and Matching: The Role of Race in Gamete Donor Selection"
Followed by pizza party: 3rd floor patio, Shanahan Center, HMC
4:15pm, Drinkward Recital Hall, Shanahan Center, HMC
FMI: contact Prof. Vivien Hamilton

Monday, September 30, 2019
Della Dumbaugh, University of Richmond
"Does one man make a team? Solomon Lefschetz as Editor of the Annals of Mathematics"
3:00 PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page. 

Monday, September 16, 2019
Jemma Lorenat (moderator), Pitzer College
"Paper read before the mathematical club at Girton College. May Term, 1893" by Charlotte Angas Scott -- a discussion of the historically interesting paper
3:00PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page. ​

Thursday, September 12, 2019
"Science for Social Justice in Puerto Rico"
4:15pm, Drinkward Recital Hall, HMC
FMI and an abstract on the event page

Spring 2019

Monday, April 22, 2019
Sean Walsh, University of California at Los Angeles
"Infinitesimals, valued fields, and the orders of infinite smallness"
3:00pm, Parsons 1289, HMC
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Hixon Colloquium by Darrel Moellendorf
"Three Interpretations of the Anthropocene: Hope and Anxiety at the End of Nature."
4:15pm, Drinkward Recital Hall, HMC
FMI: Prof. Marianne De Laet

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Information Session: changes to major, internship info, grad school info, research, etc.
5:45 - 7:00pm, Kravis Center Lower Court room 63, CMC
Dinner and refreshments will be included!
FMI: Prof. Vivien Hamilton

Monday, April 1, 2019
Jim Smith, San Francisco State University
"Mario Pieri, Overloading, and Information Hiding in 1907"
3:00PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page

Monday, March 11, 2019
Judy Grabiner (moderator), Pitzer College
"Computers and the Nature of Man: a historian's perspective on controversies about artificial intelligence" -- a discussion of the historically interesting paper
3:00PM, Skandera P105, Pitzer College

Monday, February 25, 2019
Deborah Kent, Drake University
" 'Glorious Beyond Description': The U.S. Naval Corps of Professors of Mathematics Experience a Total Solar Eclipse in 1869"
3:00PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page

Monday, February 11, 2019
Vincenzo De Risi, University of Paris
"Johann Lambert and Modern Axiomatics"
3:00PM, Parsons 1289, Harvey Mudd College
FMI and an abstract on the HOM seminar page