Prof Jeremy Gray
Jeremy Gray gave the Plenary lecture: The soul of the fact: Poincaré and proof at CLMPS, Nancy on 25 July 2012.
The Open University
Jeremy Gray has worked at the Open University since 1975, and has been a Professor of the History of Mathematics there since 2002. He has worked on a number of courses, including M 203 ‘Introduction to Pure Mathematics’, where he was closely associated with the Geometry Block, the Topology courses (M 435 and now M 338), and the MSc course in Differential Geometry (M 827). He now teaches one of the M840 options, Topics in the History of Geometry in the 19th Century, which is based on his book Worlds out of Nothing; a course on the history of geometry in the 19th century, Springer, London (2006). With John Fauvel, he was one of the two principal authors of ‘Topics in the History of Mathematics’ (MA 290) and edited the Source Book The History of Mathematics; a Reader Macmillan, London (1987). With June Barrow-Green and Robin Wilson he is preparing a new edition of the Reader and a book to go with it. He is also an Honorary Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Warwick where he teaches a course one term a year in the history of mathematics (currently 19th Century Analysis).
As a member of the Centre of History of Mathematical Sciences, he is interested in many branches of the history of mathematics, but his main areas of research are the history of complex function theory, projective and non-Euclidean geometry, and the life and work of Henri Poincaré. In 2006 he published The Architecture of Modern Mathematics, edited with José Ferreirós (Seville), on the history and philosophy of modern mathematics, Oxford University Press (2006). This year he has just finished Plato’s Ghost, a book on mathematical modernism in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, which links the history of mathematics with the history of science and issues in mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. June Barrow-Green and Jeremy Gray were jointly awarded £2,500 by the British Academy/CNRS joint projects scheme to work for two years on the project: Constructing modernities, mathematical sciences, mathematicians, and the First World War. In 2010 he was awarded a grant by the Leverhulme Trust to write a scientific biography of Henri Poincaré, which will be published by Princeton University Press in 2012 to coincide with the centenary of the death of Poincaré.
He believes strongly that the study of the history of mathematics is an important way for everyone to understand the nature of the mathematics we have, and its place and role in the intellectual and practical life of society.
In November 2012 Jeremy was named an Inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
He has been a member of the British Society for the History of Mathematics since its early days, and he is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society. He was elected a corresponding member of Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences/ International Academy of the History of Science in 1993, and in February 1997 was elected a member of the International Commission on the History of Mathematics. He is a founder editor of the Series in the history of mathematics, published jointly by the American and London Mathematical Societies, and is an editor of Science Networks, published by Birkhäuser. With Jed Buchwald (Cal Tech) he is an editor of Archive for history of exact Sciences, and he serves on the editorial boards of: Centaurus, Historia Mathematica, and Revue d'histoire des mathématiques. He is also an Affiliated Research Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Jeremy Gray was a Member at Large on the International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM), a division of the International Mathematical Union from 2003 to 2006, and served as a Core Member of the Panel on History of Mathematics for the Program Committee of the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians, and on the sub-committee of the ICHM to choose the next recipient of the Kenneth O. May Medal for the history of mathematics.
Appointed co-editor with Vagn Lundsgaard Hansen of a volume on "History of Mathematics" for the UNESCO-project EOLSS (Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems).
Books in press
Plato’s Ghost: Modernism and Mathematics.(Princeton University Press)
Work in progress
1. A History of Mathematics (with June Barrow-Green and Robin Wilson) to accompany a revised edition of The History of Mathematics; a Reader (with John Fauvel) Macmillan, London (1987).
2. A history of complex function theory (with Prof. U. Bottazzini, Milan) to be completed in 2008.
1. Macaulay and algebraic geometry, 1895-1934 (with D.E. Eisenbud, MSRI, Berkeley)
2. The work of Jesse Douglas on minimal surfaces (with M. Micallef, Warwick)
1. Anxiety and Abstraction in Nineteenth-Century Mathematics, Science in Context, 17.2, (2004), 23-48.
2. Poncelet and projective geometry, 366-376, Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics, 1640-1940, I. Grattan-Guinness (ed.) Elsevier, (2004).
3. Riemann’s geometries, 506-520, Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics, 1640-1940, I. Grattan-Guinness (ed.) Elsevier, (2004).
4. Klein’s Erlangen Program, 544-552, Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics, 1640-1940, I. Grattan-Guinness (ed.) Elsevier, (2004).
5. Geometria Algebrica, Storia della Scienza, vol. VIII, 198-207, Enciclopedia Italiana
6. Geometria Differenziale, Storia della Scienza, vol. VIII, 207-217, Enciclopedia Italiana
7. Gauss - Titan of Science, a re-edition of G.W. Dunnington’s book of 1956, with a new introduction and appendices by me, Mathematical Association of America, 2003.
8. Janos Bolyai, non-Euclidean Geometry and the Nature of Space, Burndy Library, M.I.T., 2004.
Recent invited addresses
26 April - 4 May 2005: Visiting Fellow at the Erwin Schrödinger Institute, Vienna.
Title of paper: Poincaré’s electro-magnetic theory: philosophy and physics in 1900
23-29 May 2005: Invited speaker at the conference on Proof in Mathematics: Logical, historical, and philosophical approaches, in Lille, France.
Title of paper: Discovery and proof in mathematics from Hilbert to Plücker
29 August-3 September 2005: Invited speaker at the SMF supported conference at Luminy on the history of geometry.
Title of paper: Singular points and general arguments from Plücker to Scott
22-24 March 2006 : Invited speaker at the University of Frankfurt conference on Modernism in the sciences ca. 1900-1940.
Title of paper: Space ships and jungles: mathematics and Modernism
11-15 March 2007 : The Enriques Lecture, the University of Milan
Title of Lecture: Poincaré and the popularisation of mathematics 100 years ago
15-21 April 2007: Invited speaker at the SMF supported conference at Luminy on the history of geometry.
Title of Lecture: The domestication of hyperspace (Bianchi and Thurston)