Thursday 15 and Friday 16 December 2015: 10am–5pm
All Souls College, Oxford

Programme | Abstracts

(c) Christ Church, University of Oxford; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Pietro della Vecchia (1603–1678), ‘The Philosophers (Ptolemy and Euclid with Their Pupils)’. (c) Christ Church, University of Oxford.

Mathematics increased in both its status as a discipline and its social visibility in Europe during the early modern period. Increasing numbers of people across different social milieus acquired mathematical skills and made use of them in the workplace: seafarers, merchants, dialers, accountants, and architects, to name but a few. Some nations or regions acquired special reputations for producing mathematicians or numerate individuals. At the same time, a variety of reasons were advanced for the importance of learning of mathematics and a similar variety of programmes were proposed to promote the practice of mathematics. While some institutions remained notoriously disengaged from the teaching and learning of mathematics, and it remained perfectly possible for young men and women to pass into adulthood – indeed, to be well educated – with only a bare minimum of numeracy, others began slowly and sometimes reluctantly to reform. What arguments did those engaged with questions about teaching and learning mathematics, whether learners, teachers or institutions, set out to promote their endeavours? How did questions such as what to teach or how to teach inform discussion? These and similar issues will be the subject of this two-day workshop, to be held in All Souls College, Oxford.

Confirmed speakers:
Maria Avxentevskaya · Angela Axworthy · Mordechai Feingold · Stefano Gulizia · Boris Jardine · Matthew Landrus · Snezana Lawrence · Yelda Nasifoglu · Will Poole · Philip Sanders · Ivan Tafteberg · Benjamin Wardhaugh

Places are available for observers; there is no fee for attendance, but registration in advance is required. Unfortunately accommodation cannot be provided for observers. To register, or for any enquiries, please contact benjamin.wardhaugh [at]

Euclid's Elements of Geometry in Early Modern Britain