Summer school 2018 of the IMJ-PRG

July 2 - July 6, 2018
Paris, campus Jussieu (quartier latin)

Digital Approaches to the History of Mathematical Sciences: Materiality of Texts – Networks – Classifications

Contact: school2018@imj-prg.fr

Programme

Click on the title of the workshop or of the talk to access the abstract

  Monday, July 2 Tuesday, July 3 Wednesday, July 4 Thursday, July 5 Friday, July 6
9h-10h30 9h - Welcome
9h30 - Introduction
Workshops (parallel sessions)

Charlotte Dessaint : « Edition of lecture notes from the library of the Ecole normale supérieure »

or

François Lê and Anne-Sandrine Paumier : « Classifications in history of mathematics : from objects to disciplinary headings »

Lecture Theme 2
Networks
Partie 2/2
Talk and discussion

Miranda Lewis and Philip Beeley: “Lines of Communication: Mathematicians and Early Modern Letters Online”

Lecture Theme 3
Classifications
Partie 2/2
10h30-11h Coffee Break
11h-12h30 Lecture Theme 1
Materiality
Partie 1/2
Lecture Theme 3
Classifications
Partie 1/2
Talk and discussion

Charles van den Heuvel: “Paper Bulwarks and Digital Fortresses. Mixed Methods for analyzing the Duytsche Mathematique”

Workshops (parallel sessions)

Miranda Lewis and Philip Beeley: “Collating Correspondence: Towards a Union Catalogue of Mathematical Letters”

or

Jim Ritter: “Using a data base to explore structured texts”

Talk and discussion

David Aubin: Calculating and Flowcharting: On the Mathematical History of some Tools used in the Digital Humanities »

12h30-14h Lunch   12h30-14h Lunch
14h15-15h45 Lecture Theme 2
Networks
Partie 1/2
Talk and discussion

Milad Doueihi: “Computation and the Humanities: Past and Present”

Free afternoon Lecture Theme 1
Materiality
Partie 2/2
Workshops (parallel sessions)

Miranda Lewis ans Philip Beeley: “Collating Correspondence: Towards a Union Catalogue of Mathematical Letters”

ou

François Lê and Anne-Sandrine Paumier : « Classifications in history of mathematics : from objects to disciplinary headings »

Coffee Break   Coffee Break
16h15-17h45 Talk and discussion

Jean-Gabriel Ganascia : “Digital Literary Studies – computer assisted study of big corpuses”

Workshops (parallel sessions)

Marie Dupond : « Presentation of the software Omeka »

or

Emmylou Haffner : « On classifications for contemporary manuscripts »

  Workshops (parallel sessions)

Frédéric Brechenmacher : « Mapping algebra in France (1870-1914) »

or

Serge Linkès : « MUSE, a tool to describe, analyze and classify archives from their materiality »

Final Round Table
and conclusions

Talks

Jean-Gabriel Ganascia : “Digital Literary Studies – computer assisted study of big corpuses”

After a short introduction to Digital Literary Studies and to its epistemological groundings that could, according to us, be found in the idea of a "logic of the humanities" as it has been expressed by neo-Kantian philosophers as Ernst Cassirer, we shall introduce a few tools that have been developed on our group to deal with big digitized corpuses and to help to interpret them. In particular, we shall discuss version comparison software, semantic search engines and the automatic detection of reuses, borrowings and quotations (implicit or explicit) that is now possible on big corpuses of hundreds of thousands of documents. Lastly, we shall show how it is possible to use graph theory to cluster the huge number (that can be evaluated to few millions) of reuses and make them meaningful, or to use frequent itemsets detection algorithms with ontologies to track evolution of ideas over time.

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Milad Doueihi: “Computation and the Humanities: Past and Present”

Big Data, Pattern Marching, Visualisation, Large scale text initiatives, Design, current Digital humanities developments seem to focus on a renewed set of applications of digital tools and methods. A historical and epistemological perspective on such developments that will focus Doin some basic questions concerning the status of computation as a cultural phenomena and the ways in which it is shaping the humanities and the social sciences.

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Charles van den Heuvel: “Paper Bulwarks and Digital Fortresses. Mixed Methods for analyzing the Duytsche Mathematique”

When the application of bastions in Dutch defense walls in the second half of the sixteenth century gradually developed into a polygonal fortification system in which the form of and distance between bastions was determined by the geometrics of the ground plan of the fortress or the perimeter of the town in question, mathematics became an essential part of the theory of fortification. This theory was taught in Latin at the University of Leiden in a philological way by humanists such as Scaliger and Lipsius. However, the multitude of fortification projects in Holland at the beginning of the Eight Years War required the engineers trained in the practice of fortification. To this end Prince Maurice of Nassau commissioned his tutor and advisor in military affairs Simon Stevin (1548-1640) to design an elementary program in landsurveying and arithmetics and geometry. In order to fulfill the large demand for engineers the program was also aimed at the enrollment of artisans of all sort of professions. For that reason these mathematical lessons were taught in the Dutch language, hence the Duytsche Mathematique. Following theories about fortification, education material of teachers of the Duytsche Mathematique (in particular of the family of mathematicians Van Schooten) and notes of students, we will discuss the required mathematical knowledge of courtiers, merchants and artisans. We claim that differences in the training material of these groups were social and cultural rather than content driven. In order to study contemporary perceptions of theorists and practioners of mathematics in the Dutch Republic we will focus on the role of training in the use of correct terminologies (essential for classification) and the making of drawings. For the analyses of terms and drawings in the mathematical design of fortifications in the Low Countries in the Early Modern Period a variety of digital methods such network analysis, topic modeling and virtual reality will be demonstrated.

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Miranda Lewis and Philip Beeley: “Lines of Communication: Mathematicians and Early Modern Letters Online”

Philip Beeley (President, BSHM; Editor, The Correspondence of John Wallis) and Miranda Lewis (Editor, EMLO) will discuss the role a Union Catalogue of correspondence metadata has to play in the study of early modern mathematicians, their work, and their intellectual networks. The talk will focus on a cluster of early modern European case studies and will explore the benefits of working with correspondence metadata in a digital environment.

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Workshops

Frédéric Brechenmacher : « Mapping algebra in France (1870-1914) »

This workshop will discuss some procedures which have been elaborated with the collaborative database THAMOUS in order to constitute and to organize corpuses of texts. During the project ANR CaaFE, c. 2000 texts (published in France between 1870 and 1914 and classified under the heading « algebra » in the main reviewing journal Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik) have been systematically collected in this database, as well as their intertextual links. The workshop will explore the features of THAMOUS that allow to map this corpus of texts, according to a variety of data: some internal (authors, references, places of publication, …), some external (disciplinary classifications, reviewers in the Jahrbuch, keywords, etc). We shall in particular comment on the heuristic potential of this mapping to identify collective dimensions of mathematics and historiographical categories.

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Charlotte Dessaint : « Edition of lecture notes from the library of the Ecole normale supérieure »

In 2015, the library Ulm-Lettres of the Ecole normale supérieure digitalized lectures notes kept among the archives and manuscripts of the library. It includes notes of lectures taught by various professors at the School during the nineteenth century and covers exact sciences (calculus, physics, chemistry) and human sciences (history, literature, grammar). We are now preparing their electronic edition. Its aim is to allow access to the content of the notes through search and consultation functionalities. To do this, an innovative and user-friendly interface for transcription and encoding in the XML-TEI format has been developed for the software OMEKA (in collaboration with the platform EMAN-ITEM).

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Marie Dupond : « Presentation of the software Omeka »

Omeka is an open-source software for the edition of contents and the management of digital libraries, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. It is at the crossing of various needs: managing contents, displaying digital heritage collections and archives. Based on a community of developers and users coming from libraries, computer science, museums and humanities, it is widely used by university libraries, laboratories or research projects in order to display online and to enhance their archives, collections and corpuses. This workshop will present the software, its aims, its limits and some examples of its uses ; a sandbox site will also allow the participants to test its main features.

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Emmylou Haffner : « On classifications for contemporary manuscripts »

In this workshop, we will consider mathematical manuscripts and drafts for the 19th and 20th century, and focus on questions related to the classification(s) of these texts for the purpose of a digital edition or a website. We will question how relevant and useful it can be to elaborate several ways of classifying inside the same corpus (e.g. material classification, scientific or conceptual classification, chronological classification...)

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François Lê and Anne-Sandrine Paumier : « Classifications in history of mathematics : from objects to disciplinary headings »

The lecture on classifications suggested that the historical variability of the classifications of the objects and of the mathematical knowledge might interfere with the constitution of any corpus in the history of mathematics. The aim of our workshop is to enlighten some aspects of this problem. First, we will illustrate how mathematical classifications can change with time, or with their authors' priorities. This will be done with concrete example, including that of the place, in the mid-20th century, of Laurent Schwartz's distribution theory in the classification of the Mathematical Reviews. We will then tackle the example of the classification of curves between the 18th and the 20th centuries, especially in regard to its taxon called "genus": we will see how a new definition of this taxon given in the middle of the 1860s changed the points of view of mathematicians on the right way to conceive curves, and, consequently, to describe with rubrics what "Geometry" is. We will finally give some hints relative to the possible way to describe the phenomena of categorization linked to any cognitive operation of classification.

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Miranda Lewis and Philip Beeley: “Collating Correspondence: Towards a Union Catalogue of Mathematical Letters”

This workshop will demonstrate tools developed in Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Oxford for Early Modern Letters Online [EMLO] that facilitate the collation, structure, and standardization of correspondence metadata and enable interoperability in addition to meeting the requirements of the scholar’s own work and focus of research. Participants will be shown how to take advantage of pre-existing, standardized early modern person, place, and repository metadata (together with relevant associated authority file references and links) within a union catalogue. The session will be tailored to help clarify specific issues and problems that arise in the course of work with epistolary metadata assembled from a wide range of sources and in pre-existing formats. Participants may bring their own metadata if they wish, or may use sample metadata supplied for training purposes. Sessions will be conducted in English, although support in both French and German will be available. No previous experience is required.

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Serge Linkès : « MUSE, a tool to describe, analyze and classify archives from their materiality »

How to analyze hand- or typewritten scientific documents, catalog them, classify them, etc., thanks to a codicological analysis ? That is, how to take into account all the material factors (inks, papers, writers, …) shared by the preliminary writings ? The heuristical tool MUSE aims at answering these questions. It will be presented in this workshop through concrete examples coming in particular from Condorcet’s scientific correspondence. The relational database MUSE (acronym for: “Manuscrits, Usages des Supports d’Ecriture” – « Manuscripts, Uses of Writing Materials ») is an original software including digitalized images (watermarks, dry stamps, manuscripts), which allows a systematic and detailed description, both material and intellectual, of any handwritten corpus from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. We shall discuss first modern and contemporary codicology as a discipline, then we shall work with an on-line clone version of the original MUSE, which will allow the participants to access to the tool, test its different possibilities and finally understand the codicological methodology at the basis of this tool.

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Jim Ritter: “Using a data base to explore structured texts”

In this workshop an example will be given of how a database was designed and constructed to go beyond the surface (purely linguistic) elements of certain classes of “technical” texts, specifically to explore the logico-algorithmic structure of ancient Egyptian and Babylonian mathematical texts. The implication in the project by researchers studying two different traditions aided in drawing out and making more precise the details of the texts of each culture. In addition, the implication from the outset of both researchers and programmers ensured that the database really responded, in a flexible, open-ended way, to research needs now and in planned future extensions of the work to other classes of similarly structured ancient texts. If time permits, a simplified form of the database could be used to enable a hands-on experiment by the participants in the creation of a database for another class of structured technical documents; ancient Babylonian law texts (in English translation).

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