Activities per year
Abstract
An introductory section discusses the utility of the algorithm concept in the
historiographic analysis of nonrecent mathematics, in particular the sense that
can be given to claims that a particular mathematical culture was of algorithmic
type. It concludes that the adequacy of this epithet when applied to a
mathematical culture does not depend on whether texts used in teaching are
built up around paradigmatic examples but on whether the production of rules
or algorithms was regarded as a central activity for those whom we would count
as “mathematicians” (that is, producers of mathematical knowledge).
Three medieval examples of attitudes to algorithms follow. First, Jordanus
de Nemore’s De numeris datis is shown to develop a method to combine
algorithms and deductivity, in an alternative to algebra. Second, Barthélemy de
Romans’ graphic schemes for organizing the complex algorithms used to solve
the sophisticated variants of the problem of the “unknown heritage” are
discussed. Third is considered Nicholas Chuquet’s dismissal of these schemes
and algorithms, in favour of the algebraic tool.
historiographic analysis of nonrecent mathematics, in particular the sense that
can be given to claims that a particular mathematical culture was of algorithmic
type. It concludes that the adequacy of this epithet when applied to a
mathematical culture does not depend on whether texts used in teaching are
built up around paradigmatic examples but on whether the production of rules
or algorithms was regarded as a central activity for those whom we would count
as “mathematicians” (that is, producers of mathematical knowledge).
Three medieval examples of attitudes to algorithms follow. First, Jordanus
de Nemore’s De numeris datis is shown to develop a method to combine
algorithms and deductivity, in an alternative to algebra. Second, Barthélemy de
Romans’ graphic schemes for organizing the complex algorithms used to solve
the sophisticated variants of the problem of the “unknown heritage” are
discussed. Third is considered Nicholas Chuquet’s dismissal of these schemes
and algorithms, in favour of the algebraic tool.
Original language  English 

Number of pages  22 
Publication status  Published  18 Oct 2011 
Activities
 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Workshop sur « Pratiques algorithmiques dans les mathématiques prémodernes »
Jens Høyrup (Speaker)
14 Oct 2011Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in workshop, seminar, course
File