History of Mathematics Group

Faculty: David Pengelley

Current research topics:
In history of mathematics I am involved in translation, research, and exposition on both classical Greek and eighteenth to nineteenth century mathematics, leaning towards number theory, the bridge between the continuous and the discrete, and the work of Leonhard Euler. I have recently coauthored “Did Euclid need the Euclidean algorithm to prove unique factorization?” in the American Mathematical Monthly, and published “Dances between continuous and discrete: Euler’s summation formula”. My coauthored paper “’Voici ce que j’ai trouvé’: Sophie Germain’s grand plan to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem”, will appear in Historia Mathematica, and has been featured in Science News Online and Science Magazine. This research on Sophie Germain’s early nineteenth century handwritten manuscripts of her research on Fermat’s Last Theorem calls for a dramatic elevation of her stature as a mathematician.

My research in history of mathematics emerged from my work in mathematics education, where I currently work primarily on the pedagogy of teaching with primary historical sources at all levels, as described in more detail on the department’s web pages on our mathematics education research.

Both the above areas supplement my longstanding research in algebraic topology, described on the department’s topology group web page.

My web pages at https://web.nmsu.edu/~davidp lead to all my research papers, and to further information about all these endeavors.

Points of contact: David Pengelley