
Re: [HM] Blind mathematicians
Posted:
Nov 3, 2000 9:25 AM


One of the most interesting examples of a blind mathematician was Nicholas Saunderson (16821739), Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge from 1711, who lost his sight in infancy from smallpox. He is interesting not only for his achievements, such as his impressive and influential algebra textbook 'Elements of algebra' (1740), but for the calculational aid he devised called 'palpable arithmetic', a kind of pinboard abacus. Something similar was reinvented in educational circles two centuries later & called a 'geoboard'.
John Fauvel

