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Colloquium
Thursday, January 30, 2014


A life of learning in Leiden: Frans van Schooten (1615-1660)

Jantien Dopper (UU)


Abstract: My thesis is a study of the life and work of the Leiden mathematician Frans van Schooten (1615-1660), on the basis of his published works as well as archival material and unpublished manuscripts. In his scholarly work and his teaching, Van Schooten embodied a curious tension between innovation and tradition. He published a Latin translation of the Géométrie (1637) by Descartes, a work containing new and groundbreaking mathematical ideas, but in his own commentaries, Van Schooten identified himself with Descartes to such an extent that he was unable to cope with criticisms of Descartes's solutions by other mathematicians.Van Schooten was professor in the Duytsche Mathematique, a program attached to Leiden University in which mathematics was taught in the Dutch language. Van Schooten made important changes to this program, but taught mathematics in the traditional way without adapting the new methods of Descartes.In my talk I will discuss different aspects of Van Schooten's life of learning in Leiden, including his approach to Cartesian mathematics.

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Location :  Room 611 of the Hans Freudenthal building, formerly known as the Wiskunde/Maths building, (campus De Uithof) Budapestlaan 6, Utrecht.
Date and time : Thursday, January 30, 2014 15:30-16:30. The lecture is preceded by coffee, tea, and cookies from 15.00 to 15.30 hour in the same room.