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History Department at Lehman College

Faculty: Joseph W. Dauben



Joseph W. Dauben Academic Interests

History of science, history of mathematics; the Scientific Revolution


History of Chinese science and mathematics

Awards and fellowships

  • Guggenheim Fellowship (1980-1981), for a study “Mathematics and Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce.”
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Lehman College, 1986
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, 3-year Fellowship (1990-1992), for a Critical Edition of the “Ten Classics of Ancient Chinese Mathematics.”
  • American Council of Learned Societies, Senior Fellowship, 1998-1999, for a study “Marx, Mao and Mathematics. Nonstandard Analysis and the Cultural Revolution.”
  • Lehman College Foundation Award for Outstanding Research, 1998-2000


  • Abraham Robinson: The Creation of Non-Standard Analysis, A Personal and Mathematical Odyssey. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.
  • George Cantor: His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979.

Selected Articles/Reviews/Essays

  • Dauben, Joseph W. “De Minimis Risk: A Proposal for a New Category of Research Risk,” The American Journal of Bioethics 11(11)(2011): 1-7. (With Rosamond Rhodes, et al.)
  • Essay Review of Jean-Claude Martzloff: Le calendrier chinois: structure et calculs (104 av. J.-C.-1644). Indétermination céleste et réforme permanente. La construction chinoise officielle du temps quotidien discret à partir d’un temps mathématique caché, linéaire et continu.  In EASTM (East Asian Science, Technology, and medicine), 33 (2011): 90-114.
  • Essay Review of Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor: Naming Infinity. A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity. In Historia Mathematica, reviewed for Historia Mathematica, published on-line November 21, 2011.
  • Dauben, J.W. & Parikh, R. (2010). Beginnings of modern mathematics in India. Current Science (Indian Academy of Sciences), 99:3, 300-302.
  • Dauben, J. W. (2008). Georg Cantor. In T. Gowers (Ed.), The Princeton Companion to Mathematics (pp. 778-780). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Dauben, J. W. (2008). Abraham Robinson. In T. Gowers (Ed.), The Princeton Companion to Mathematics (pp. 822-823). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Zhu Shijie’s Siyuan yujian (Jade Mirror of the Four Unknowns): Solutions of Simultaneous Equations in as many as Four Unknowns in Yuan Dynasty China. In H. Hecht, R. Mikosch, I. Schwarz, & H. Siebert (Eds.), Kosmos und Zahl (pp. 319-330). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
  • Suan shu shu (A Book on Numbers and Computations).English Translation with Commentary,” Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 62 (2) (Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2008), pp. 91-178.
  • “Chinese Mathematics,” in The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam. A Sourcebook, Victor Katz, ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), pp. 187-384.
  • “Mathematics and Ideology: The Politics of Infinitesimals. In Memory of Mariano Hormigón,” Llull. Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas, 27 (2004), pp. 291-355.
  • “Mathematics, Ideology, and the Politics of Infinitesimals: Mathematical Logic and Nonstandard Analysis in Modern China,” Festschrift in Honor of Ivor Grattan-Guinness, John Dawson, ed. History and Philosophy of Logic, 24 (2003), pp. 327-363.
  • “Charles S. Peirce, Evolutionary Pragmatism and the History of Science,” Centaurus. International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Denmark), 38 (1996), pp. 22-82.
  • “Mathematics: An Historian's Perspective,” Philosophy and the History of Science, 2 (1993), pp. 1-21.
  • "La Matematica," in W. Shea ed., Storia delle Scienze. LeScienze Fisiche e Astronomiche (Milano: Banca Populare di Milan, 1991, and Einaudi, 1992) pp. 258-280.
  • "Are There Revolutions in Mathematics?" in The Space of Mathematics (eds. J. Echieverria, A. Ibarra and T. Mormann)(Berlin: De Gruyter, 1992), pp. 203-226.
  • "Conceptual Revolutions and the History of Mathematics: Two Studies in the Growth of Knowledge," Chapter 4 of D. Gillies, ed., Revolutions in Mathematics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 49-7l.
  • "Revolutions Revisited," Chapter 5 of D. Gillies, ed., Revolutions in Mathematics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), Pp. 72-82.

Series Editor/Editorial Boards

  • Osiris (History of Science Society, USA) Revista di Storia della Scienza (Italy), Philosophy and the History of Science (Taiwan), Mathesis (Mexico), Ganita Bharati(Bulletin of the Indian Society for History of Mathematics).
  • Historia Mathematica (series editor, Academic Press, USA) for ten years.

Other Activities

Program Committees (1994-98): International Congress of Mathematicians (Zurich, Switzerland, 1994); International Commission on History of Mathematics lectures; XXth International Congress for History of Science (Liege, Belgium, 1997); Symposia for History of Mathematics.

Fellowship/ Awards Selection Committees: National Science Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation (History of Science)

I am a member of the Executive Committee for the Section on History and Philosophy of Science of the New York Academy of Sciences, responsible primarily for arranging monthly lectures at the Academy. I am also Chairman emeritus of the International Commission on History of Mathematics, and have organized several recent symposia jointly with Professor Christoph Scriba of the University of Hamburg at the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut, Oberwolfach, Germany, where graduate students with an interest in history of mathematics are often invited to present lectures. I have also served recently as co-organizer of special sessions including graduate students at annual meetings of the History of Science Society, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and at international meetings organized jointly with Professor Liu Dun of the Academia Sinica, Beijing (in 1992 and 1994), and with Professor Horng Wann-Sheng of Taiwan Normal University (1994). Graduate students have participated in all of these meetings.