Parshall to Speak on 4000 Years of Algebra

picture of Karen ParshallKaren Parshall, University of Virginia, will deliver an MAA Invited Address on Monday, January 7, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. She will speak on 4000 years of algebra: An historic tour from BM 13901 to Moderne Algebra. This lecture will be held in Room 6AB, San Diego Convention Center.

microphoneListen to Karen Parshall talk with MAA Editorial Assistant Ryan Miller about her address.

Karen Parshall is Professor of History and Mathematics at the University of Virginia. She did her undergraduate studies in French and mathematics as well as master's work in mathematics at the University of Virginia before pursuing graduate work at the University of Chicago. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Chicago, where she was privileged to work under the supervision of I. N. Herstein in mathematics and Allen G. Debus in the history of science.

She started her professional career at Sweet Briar College, before moving to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987 and then to the University of Virginia, where she has been on the faculty since 1988. From 1990 through 1999, she was involved with Historia Mathematica, the international journal for the history of mathematics, first as Book Review Editor (1990-1994), then as Managing Editor (1994-1996), and finally as Editor (1996-1999). She served as a member of the Council of the American Mathematical Society (1998-2001) and as a member of the Council of the History of Science Society (2001-2004). She was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for the 1996-1997 academic year, was elected a Corresponding Member of the Académie internationale d'histoire des sciences in 2002, and has served as Chair of the International Commission for the History of Mathematics since 2002.

Her research interests lie in the history of science and mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a special mathematical focus on the history of algebra. In addition to exploring technical developments of algebra-the theory of algebras, group theory, algebraic invariant theory-she also works on more thematic issues such as the development of national mathematical research communities (specifically in the United States and Great Britain) and the internationalization of mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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