The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University has announced that its first faculty appointment is Alexander Jones, who will become professor of History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity with an associated appointment as professor of Mathematics in NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. His appointment is effective July 1, 2008. Jones is currently a professor at the University of Toronto.
Jones has been on the faculty of the Department of Classics and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto for 16 years. His work centers on the history and transmission of the mathematical sciences, especially astronomy. He is the author of several editions of Greek scientific texts; among them is Pappus of Alexandria, a commentary on the corpus of Hellenistic geometrical treatises known as the Treasury of Analysis, which is an anonymous Byzantine astronomical handbook based on Islamic sources and a collection of about two hundred fragmentary astronomical texts, tables, and horoscopes from the papyri excavated a century ago by Grenfell and Hunt at Oxyrhynchus.
His current research interests include the contacts between Babylonian and Greco-Roman astronomy and astrology, the Antikythera Mechanism and other artifacts of Hellenistic astronomy, and the scientific work of Claudius Ptolemy. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and recipient of several awards and honors including a Guggenheim fellowship and the Francis Bacon Award in the History of Science.
Jones studied classics at the University of Toronto and the history of the ancient mathematical sciences in the Department of the History of Mathematics at Brown University. He has a Ph.D from Brown University.