Image copyright University of St Andrews

People, Places, Practices

Joint BSHM - CSHPM/SCHPM Conference

Online, coordinated through the University of St Andrews, Scotland

12-16 July 2021

News: In view of the covid-19 situation, the meeting will now take place online on 12-16 July 2021. We expect most keynote and contributed talks will remain as for the originally planned meeting

To accommodate as many time zones as possible, the meeting has been extended to 5 days, and core activities (talks and keynotes) will take place between 14.00 and 18.00/19.00 British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Emails have been sent to all accepted speakers, and registered participants, for the originally planned conference. If you have not received the email, please check your junk folder, and if you still cannot find it, contact the organisers

The satellite conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices will run immediately before, on 10-12 July 2021

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. Registration (essential) will be free - details to follow.

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 dates to be confirmed. 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.


Our meeting will run immediately after the Eleventh Conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices (MC&P-XI, dates to be confirmed 2020). The two events may share some sessions.

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