The Flux of Mathematics – How do Texts and Theories Travel Through Time and Space?
November 6 – 10, 2017

Scientific  Committee

Thomas Archibald (Simon Fraser University)
Frédéric Brechenmarcher (Université d’Artois & Ecole Polytechnique)
Hélène Gispert (Université Paris Sud)
Marc Moyon (Université de Limoges)

Organizing Committee

Caroline Ehrhardt (Université Paris 8)
Dominique Flament (Archives Henri Poincaré, Université De Lorraine)
Sabine Rommevaux-Tani (Sphere, Université Paris Diderot)
Norbert Schappacher (Université de Strasbourg)

France is the European country with the biggest community by far of researchers in the history of mathematics; about 140 historians of mathematics work here. In view of the vast dimensions of this domain of research, which stretches from Antiquity to the 21st century, and across all civilizations, and considering the many different approaches that are being used today, it is essential for the healthy development of this field of inquiry that young researchers be aware of the whole spectrum of types of analysis practiced in the field, and that they learn to speak a common language, regardless of their widely scattered specific projects.

It is with this unifying goal in mind that the GDR “History of mathematics” of CNRS organizes its second Research School, with the help of CIRM (after a first School held at the same place in 2013). This instructional conference invites young, doctoral or post-doctoral researchers from France or from abroad to gather around the theme: “The Flux of Mathematics: how do Texts and Theories travel through Time and Space?” This question can engage all current research directions in the history of mathematics. It points to recent innovative work on the ways in which mathematical knowledge has circulated between different cultural frames via translations, on the adoption of old theories for later periods of the historical process, and on ways of communicating mathematics to various audiences, as well as on the physical support of this communication. The vivid portrait of historical mathematics in flux, which results from these analyses will be the focus of this School. It will address all aspects of the transmission of mathematics, including applied mathematics.

The schedule will largely follow the model which worked so well during the first School: three blocks will approach the overall subject from different angles. Each block will consist of one lecture course (directed to all participants) spread between two sessions of one and a half hours each, and three partly parallel workshops (typically planned for 15 participants each)
lasting one hour and a half each; with the latter devoted to hands-on work on specific topics.
At least half of the events will be conducted in English.
The School will take place from 6 to 10 November 2017, that is shortly after the Novembertagung 2017 in Brussels – see
Since both events appeal essentially to the same public, but have very different formats, participating in both of them may be a rewarding experience.


Block 1 –  Relocating texts and theories 
Pascal Crozet (Sphere, Université Paris Diderot), Jenny Boucard  (Université De Nantes)

Workshops :

  • Translations

Marion Cousin (IAO, ENS Lyon), Pascal Crozet (Sphere, Université Paris Diderot), Thomas Préveraud (Université d’Artois)

  • Circulation of mixed or applied mathematics

Samuel Gessner  (Universidade De Lisboa), Thomas Morel (Université d’artois)

  • Euclid revisited by Grassmann and Hilbert

Dominique Flament (Archives Henri Poincaré, Université De Lorraine), Ivahn Smadja (Sphere, Université Paris Diderot)

Block 2 – Passing on mathematics through teaching or training 
Liliane Alfonsi (Université Paris Sud), Renaud D’enfert (Université de Picardie Jules Verne), Alexandre Guilbaud (Université Pierre et Marie Curie)

Workshops :

  • Ancient (Mesopotamian, resp. Greco-Roman) mathematical texts and their (supposed) pedagogical context

Alain Bernard  (Centre Alexandre Koyré), Christine Proust (Sphere, Université Paris Diderot)

  • Mathematics and rhetoric in the modern era 

Giovanna Cifoletti  (Centre Alexandre Koyré, Ehess)

  • How to reconstruct the career of a math teacher of the 19th and 20th century from documents in the French National Archive

Caroline Ehrhardt (Université Paris 8), Laurent Rollet (Université De Lorraine / ENS génie des systèmes industriels)

Block 3 – The material support of mathematics knowledge 
Claire Bustarret  (Item), Maarten Bullynck  (Université Paris 8), Jeanne Peiffer (Centre Alexandre Koyré, Ehess), 

Workshops :

  • Circulation of mathematical knowledge through journals

Sloan Despeaux  (Western Carolina University), J​​Jules Henri Greber (Archives Henri Poincaré), Erika Luciano (Université De Turin)

  • Encyclopedias, from the 18th century to Wikipedia

Guillaume Jouve (Université D’artois), Rossana Tazzioli (Université Lille 1)

  • Passing on mathematical knowledge through instruments

Martina Schiavon  (Archives Henri Poincaré, Université De Lorraine), Maarten Bullynck  (Université Paris 8)