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Topic: [HM] graphic representations
Replies: 10   Last Post: Apr 5, 2004 8:07 AM

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Julio Gonzalez Cabillon

Posts: 1,353
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [HM] graphic representations
Posted: Mar 27, 2004 11:56 AM
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Dear List,

As I mentioned earlier, Abraham Arcavi is looking for references
on the history of graphic representations in mathematics. The
history of graphic representations (such as diagrams, maps, charts,
...) ranges from stone carvings to computer visualizations. Please,
don't be shy ;) and do suggest pointers. (Did I tell you before
that I was characterised as a "shy historian" in an recent article
of the Bulletin of the BSHM? :)

This may not exactly be what Abraham is interested in, but Reviel
Netz gave a talk on "Greek Diagrams" at the Third International
Conference for the History of Greek Mathematics, Delphi, August 96.
A few years ago, this talk was available on the Net, but it seems
now that those links are no longer available. Netz also wrote an
article entitled "Greek Mathematical Diagrams: Their Use and Their
Meaning" in _For the Learning of Mathematics_ vol. 18 (1998),
no. 3, pp. 33-39. [Abstract: Greek mathematics relies on diagrams
in an essential, logical way; diagrams are not just pedagogic aids.
Before writing down a proof, Greek mathematicians would have
outlined it orally in front of a diagram. For them, letters were
indices, not symbols: the identity of the object was visual. In
Greek mathematics the diagram occupied the place of conceptual
systems in modern mathematics.]

As indicated earlier on HM a few years ago,
, Reviel Netz
wrote a book, "The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics" which
includes a substantial part of the above.

Again, the following link may not exactly be what Abraham has in mind,
but [HM] listmember Fulvia Furinghetti has co-authored a paper entitled
"Revisiting Guided Reinvention: Icons, Indexes, and Symbols in the
Construction of Mathematical Objects", in which she discusses various
types of signs (mainly icons and geometrical figures) used by students
in constructing mathematical objects and in proving.

(Since I'm shy ;) I stop here.

Best wishes to all,

Julio GC

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