Otto Neugebauer (1899-1990), more than any other scholar of recent times, shaped the way we perceive and study ancient science.

NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and Courant Institute Host an Important Conference on Otto Neugebauer and His Impact on the History of the Exact Sciences
Otto Neugebauer (1899-1990)

Otto Neugebauer (1899-1990), more than any other scholar of recent times, shaped the way we perceive and study ancient science. Less known among historians of science but just as important is his role in the contemporary mathematical community.  While tracing the ancient transmission of the mathematical sciences, Neugebauer was himself also part of a modern stage of these processes, and his career as much as his scholarship responded to his conviction that mathematical reasoning was a phenomenon unlimited by nationality, language, or culture.

On the 20th anniversary of his death, New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences are hosting a conference, entitled  A Mathematician’s Journey: Otto Neugebauer Between History and Practice of the Exact Sciences, that will cast new light on the many facets of Neugebauer's career, his impact on the history and practice of mathematics, and the ways in which his legacy has been preserved or transformed in recent decades, looking ahead to the directions in which the study of the history of science will head in the twenty-first century. 

A Mathematician’s Journey will take place Nov. 12 & 13, at ISAW, located at 15 East 84th Street; subways: 4, 5, 6 (86th Street/Lexington).  The conference is free and open to the public but reservations are required.  For reservations, email or telephone 212.992.7843.  For more detailed information, including a complete schedule of sessions, visit

Conference participants are: Lis Brack-Bernsen, University of Regensburg; Karine Chemla, CNRS REHSEIS-SPHERE; Dennis Duke, Florida State University; B.R. Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh; Jens Høyrup, University of Roskilde; Hermann Hunger, University of Vienna; Teije de Jong, University of Amsterdam; Agathe Keller, CNRS REHSEIS-SPHERE; Duncan Melville, St. Lawrence University; Mathieu Ossendrijver, University of Tübingen and ISAW, NYU; Christine Proust, Institut Méditerranéen de Recherches Avancées, Marseille; Lewis Pyenson, Western Michigan University; Jim Ritter, Université de Paris 8; David Rowe,University of Mainz; George Saliba, Columbia University; R. Siegmund-Schultze, University of Agder; John Steele, Brown University; and N. M. Swerdlow, California Institute of Technology.

Respondents are: Jed Buchwald, California Institute of Technology; Sylvain Cappell, Courant Institute, NYU; Harold Edwards, Courant Institute, NYU; and Peter Lax, Courant Institute, NYU.

 The conference has been made possible through the support of the Leon Levy Foundation; Brown University; Courant Institute, NYU; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Transitions (CNRS-NYU); REHSEIS (CNRS), and CNRS.

 ISAW is a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education for the cultivation of comparative and connective investigations of the ancient world.  It features doctoral and postdoctoral programs.  The Institute focuses on the shared and overlapping periods in the development of cultures and civilizations around the Mediterranean basin, and across central Asia to the Pacific Ocean.

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Richard Pierce
Richard Pierce
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