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Michael J. Barany [13]Michael Jeremy Barany [1]
  1.  39
    Abstract relations: bibliography and the infra-structures of modern mathematics.Michael J. Barany - 2021 - Synthese 198 (S26):6277-6290.
    Beginning at the end of the nineteenth century, systematic scientific abstracting played a crucial role in reconfiguring the sciences on an international scale. For mathematicians, the 1931 launch of the Zentralblatt für Mathematik and 1940 launch of Mathematical Reviews marked and intensified a fundamental transformation, not just to the geographic scale of professional mathematics but to the very nature of mathematicians’ research and theories. It was not an accident that mathematical abstracting in this period coincided with an embrace across mathematical (...)
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  2.  19
    Savage numbers and the evolution of civilization in Victorian prehistory.Michael J. Barany - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Science 47 (2):239-255.
    This paper identifies ‘savage numbers’ – number-like or number-replacing concepts and practices attributed to peoples viewed as civilizationally inferior – as a crucial and hitherto unrecognized body of evidence in the first two decades of the Victorian science of prehistory. It traces the changing and often ambivalent status of savage numbers in the period after the 1858–1859 ‘time revolution’ in the human sciences by following successive reappropriations of an iconic 1853 story from Francis Galton's African travels. In response to a (...)
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  3.  10
    Impersonation and personification in mid-twentieth century mathematics.Michael J. Barany - 2020 - History of Science 58 (4):417-436.
    Pseudonymous mathematician Nicolas Bourbaki and his lesser-known counterpart E.S. Pondiczery, devised respectively in France and in Princeton in the mid-1930s, together index a pivotal moment in the history of modern mathematics, marked by international infrastructures and institutions that depended on mathematicians’ willingness to play along with mediated personifications. By pushing these norms and practices of personification to their farcical limits, Bourbaki’s and Pondiczery’s impersonators underscored the consensual social foundations of legitimate participation in a scientific community and the symmetric fictional character (...)
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  4.  4
    A “Truly International” Discipline: Adverbs, Ideals, and the Reinvention of International Mathematics, 1920–1950.Michael J. Barany - 2023 - Isis 114 (4):791-816.
    Examining how, and to what effect, the phrase “truly international” became central to the rhetoric and organization of the American-hosted 1950 International Congress of Mathematicians, this essay traces the negotiation of a “truly international” discipline from mathematicians’ first international congresses around the turn of the century across two world wars and their divisive interlude. Two failed attempts to host international congresses of mathematicians in the United States, for 1924 and 1940, defined the stakes for those who became the principal organizers (...)
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  5.  13
    Culture’s essential tension.Michael J. Barany - 2018 - Metascience 27 (2):275-278.
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  6.  29
    Great Pyramid Metrology and the Material Politics of Basalt.Michael J. Barany - 2010 - Spontaneous Generations 4 (1):45-60.
    Astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth’s 1864–65 expedition to measure the Great Pyramid of Giza was planned around a system of linear measures designed to guarantee the validity of his measurements and settle ongoing uncertainties as to the Pyramid’s true size. When the intended system failed to come together, Piazzi Smyth was forced to improvise a replacement that presented a fundamental challenge to the metrological enterprise upon which his system had been based. The astronomer’s new system centered around a small lump of (...)
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  7.  2
    Inverting Hierarchies: The Sociology of Mathematical Practice.Michael J. Barany & Milena I. Kremakova - 2024 - In Bharath Sriraman (ed.), Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Cham: Springer. pp. 2597-2618.
    Sociology originated in the mid-nineteenth century from a new confidence in the power of science to explain the world on a mathematical foundation. Both mathematics and sociology transformed over the ensuing century, inverting the hierarchical relationship from sociology as a mathematics-based science of complex human configurations to mathematics as a complex science based on social institutions. That is, where sociology began as the hard case for mathematics, it became possible to see mathematics as the hard case for sociology. In this (...)
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  8. Practice Makes Perfectoid.Michael J. Barany - 2024 - In Bharath Sriraman (ed.), Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Cham: Springer. pp. 2619-2636.
    Comparing my historical account of the early years of Laurent Schwartz’s theory of distributions with number theorist Michael Harris’s narrative of the early years of Peter Scholze’s perfectoid theory, I develop a perspective on change and temporality in mathematics that emphasizes the relationships between concepts, expectations, and communities of practice. Contemporary mathematics, understood as mathematics imbued with temporality, reflects the dynamic relationship between the people, ideas, pasts, and prospects of mathematical knowledge. Studying these historically may offer critical perspectives on the (...)
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  9. Some call it arsmetrike, and some awgryme" : misprision and precision in algorithmic thinking and learning in 1543 and beyond.Michael J. Barany - 2022 - In Morgan G. Ames & Massimo Mazzotti (eds.), Algorithmic modernity: mechanizing thought and action, 1500-2000. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
     
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  10. Some call it arsmetrike, and some awgryme" : misprision and precision in algorithmic thinking and learning in 1543 and beyond.Michael J. Barany - 2022 - In Morgan G. Ames & Massimo Mazzotti (eds.), Algorithmic modernity: mechanizing thought and action, 1500-2000. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  11.  22
    “That small and unsensible shape”: Visual Representations of the Euclidean Point in Sixteenth-Century Print.Michael Jeremy Barany - 2012 - Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):148-159.
    This paper probes the foundations and limits of visual representation in the sciences through a close reading of the diagrams that accompanied definitions of the geometric point in the first century of printed editions of Euclid’s Elements. I begin with the modal form for such diagrams of Euclid’s “small and unsensible shape,” showing how it incorporates a broad spectrum of conventions and practices related to the point’s philosophical and practical roles in the surrounding Euclidean geometry. I then explore the form’s (...)
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  12.  20
    Amir Alexander, Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World. London: Oneworld, 2014. Pp. 352. ISBN 978-1-78074-532-9. £20.00. [REVIEW]Michael J. Barany - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Science 48 (2):362-364.
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  13.  25
    Christopher Hollings, Mathematics across the Iron Curtain: A History of the Algebraic Theory of Semigroups. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society, 2014. Pp. xi + 441. ISBN 978-1-4704-1493-1. £79.95. [REVIEW]Michael J. Barany - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Science 49 (1):140-141.
  14.  26
    Ian Hacking, Why Is There Philosophy of Mathematics at All?, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Pp. xv + 290. ISBN 978-1-107-65815-8. £17.99. [REVIEW]Michael J. Barany - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Science 48 (4):686-687.
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