Jeremy Gray

Jeremy Gray

Emeritus Professor

Recent Lecture
Jeremy was a Visiting Professor at the Universite Paris Diderot in February 2014, and gave the CSHPM Kenneth O. May Lecture on "Henri Poincare: Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher" at the MAA MathFest, 2013.

Professional activities
In November 2012 Jeremy was named an Inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

He has been a member of the British Society for the History of Mathematics since its early days, and he is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society. He was elected a corresponding member of Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences/ International Academy of the History of Science in 1993, and in February 1997 was elected a member of the International Commission on the History of Mathematics. He was a founder editor of the Series in the history of mathematics, published jointly by the American and London Mathematical Societies, and is an editor of Science Networks, published by Birkhäuser. With Jed Buchwald (Cal Tech) he is an editor of Archive for history of exact sciences. Also with Jed Buchwald he is to be co-editor of a series of books on Mathematics and Culture, to be published by Springer. He is also an Affiliated Research Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).He was also one of the founder members of the Association for the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.

Jeremy Gray was a Member at Large on the International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM), a division of the International Mathematical Union from 2003 to 2006, and served as a Core Member of the Panel on History of Mathematics for the Program Committee of the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians, and on the sub-committee of the ICHM to choose the next recipient of the Kenneth O. May Medal for the history of mathematics.

He was awarded the Albert Leon Whiteman Prize of the American Mathematical Society for his work in the history of mathematics in 2009.

As a member of the Centre of History of Mathematical Sciences, he is interested in many branches of the history of mathematics, but his main areas of research are the history of complex function theory, projective and non-Euclidean geometry, and the life and work of  Henri Poincaré. In 2006 he published The Architecture of Modern Mathematics, edited with José Ferreirós (Seville), on the history and philosophy of modern mathematics, Oxford University Press (2006). In 2008 Princeton University Press published his Plato’s Ghost, a book on mathematical modernism in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, which links the history of mathematics with the history of science and issues in mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. June Barrow-Green and Jeremy Gray were jointly awarded £2,500 by the British Academy/CNRS joint projects scheme to work for two years on the project: Constructing modernities, mathematical sciences, mathematicians, and the First World War.  In 2010 he was awarded a grant by the Leverhulme Trust to write a scientific biography of Henri Poincaré, which was published by Princeton University Press in 2012 to coincide with the centenary of the death of Poincaré.In 2013 he published Hidden Harmonies -- Geometric Fantasies (Springer), a history of complex function theory, jointly with Umberto Bottazzini (Milan).

He believes strongly that the study of the history of mathematics is an important way for everyone to understand the nature of the mathematics we have, and its place and role in the intellectual and practical life of society.

Work in progress

1.        A History of Mathematics (with June Barrow-Green and Robin Wilson) to accompany a revised edition of The History of Mathematics; a Reader (with John Fauvel) Macmillan, London (1987).

1.        Macaulay and algebraic geometry, 1895-1934 (with D.E. Eisenbud, MSRI, Berkeley)
2.        The work of Jesse Douglas on minimal surfaces (with M. Micallef, Warwick)

Recent publications
1.        Worlds out of Nothing: a course in the history of geometry in the 19th century (2nd. ed.), Springer (2011)
2.        History of mathematics and history of science reunited, ISIS, 511--518, (2011)
3.        Poincare and the idea of a group, Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, 13, 178--186 (2012)
4.        Poincare replies to Hilbert: on the future of mathematics, ca. 1908, Mathematical Intelligencer, 34, 15--29, (2012)
5.        The Vagueness of Wigner's analysis, Interdisciplinary science reviews, 36.3, 214--228 (2011)
6.        Poincare's uniformisation theorem, Festschrift for Christian Gilain, Presses de l'Universit de Nancy, 595--616 (2012)

Recent invited addresses

29 April - 1 May 2013: Invited speaker, 20th anniversary conference of the Erwin Schrödinger Institute, Vienna.
Title of paper: The soul of the fact: Poincaré and proof

18 March 2013: Bernoulli Lecturer, The Bernoulli Society, Groningen, The Netherlands

Title of paper: On the cusp of the new physics: Henri Poincare and mathematical physics 100 years ago

4 -- 7 April 2013: Distinguished Speaker at the European Mathematical Society meeting in Aarhus Denmark
Title of paper: Henri Poincare and mathematical physics 100 years ago

Jeremy Gray has worked at the Open University since 1975, and has been a Professor of the History of Mathematics there since 2002. He has worked on a number of courses, including M 203 ‘Introduction to Pure Mathematics’, where he was closely associated with the Geometry Block, the Topology courses (M 435 and now M 338), and the MSc course in Differential Geometry (M 827). He now teaches one of the M840 options, Topics in the History of Geometry in the 19th Century, which is based on his book Worlds out of Nothing; a course on the history of geometry in the 19th century, Springer, London  (2006). With John Fauvel, he was one of the two principal authors of ‘Topics in the History of Mathematics’ (MA 290) and edited the Source Book The History of Mathematics; a Reader Macmillan, London (1987). With June Barrow-Green and Robin Wilson he is preparing a new edition of the Reader and two books to go with it. He is also an Honorary Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Warwick where he teaches a course one term a year in the history of mathematics (currently 19th Century Algebra).

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