Image copyright University of St Andrews

People, Places, Practices

Joint BSHM - CSHPM/SCHPM Conference

University of St Andrews, Scotland

Summer 2021

News: This meeting is postponed until Summer 2021 due to COVID-19. We will advertise new dates as soon as possible.

The call for abstracts for the satellite conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices is open. Deadline 20 March 2020. The satellite will move to summer 2021 along with the main conference

The Conference:

People, Places, Practices, is the 5-yearly joint conference of the British Society for the History of Mathematics and Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics/La Société Canadienne d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Mathématiques, in collaboration with HOM-SIGMAA, the History of Mathematics Special Interest Group of the MAA.

All are welcome to the conference. You need not be a member (though registration rates are lower for members)

The conference is hosted by the School of Mathematics and Statistics, St Andrews University, the home of the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive.

An Education Strand within the conference will run on 6-7 July. This will provide practical talks and workshops for those teaching the 15+ age group. Professor Évelyne Barbin, author of Let History into the Mathematics Classroom will talk about the French experience, where history of mathematics has recently been made an required part of the secondary mathematics curriculum. The programme will be designed to minimise accommodation costs (0 or 1 night) and we are exploring ways of enabling remote participation. Some help with funding for secondary and primary school teachers may be available.


Our meeting will be co-located with the Eleventh Conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices (MC&P-XI, 8-10th July 2020). The two events will overlap on the afternoon of 8th July.

A woman teaching geometry, from a 14th century edition of Euclid, via wikipedia


People, Places, Practices, will showcase a broad range of approaches to the history of mathematics:

  • People allows discussion of the cultural roles of mathematical biography, the historiographic and technical challenges of writing mathematical biography, as well as more straightforward biographical approaches
  • Places provides for the influence of location, geographical, spatial, conceptual or cultural, on mathematics and mathematicians
  • Practices encompasses the ways in which mathematicians and mathematical practitioners work or have worked, along with the materials, devices, and ideas used

Girl and blackboard

Confirmed Speakers include:

  • Karen Parshall (University of Virginia)
  • Edmund Robertson (University of St Andrews)
  • Colm Mulcahy (Spelman College)
  • Brendan Larvor (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Serafina Cuomo (University of Durham)
  • Valeria Giardino (University of Lorraine)
  • Robin Wilson (Open University)
  • Évelyne Barbin (University of Nantes)
Artist's impression of the mathematician and astronomer, James Gregory, working in the Upper Hall (now the King James Library) at the University of St Andrews. Copyright University of St Andrews

Programme Committee:

  • Maria Zack (Point Loma Nazarene University), President CSHPM/SCHPM
  • Dirk Schlimm (McGill University), Past President CSHPM/SCHPM
  • Amy Shell-Gellasch, Chair HOM-SIGMAA
  • Mark McCartney (University of Ulster), President BSHM
  • Isobel Falconer (University of St Andrews), Council member BSHM
Carving from house at Hildesheim. Creative Commons