Image copyright University of St Andrews

People, Places, Practices

Joint BSHM - CSHPM/SCHPM Conference

Online, coordinated through the University of St Andrews, Scotland

12-15 July 2021

News: "Exhibit" Competition - details on the Resources page. Closing date 15 August 2021

New Resources for links etc generated during the conference.

The Programme is now available

Abstracts & activities now available

The satellite conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices ran 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. The meeting was to have been held in St Andrews in July 2020, but is now online in July 2021.

All are welcome to the conference. You need not be a member. Registration (essential) is free.

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

There will be 8 plenary talks, and around 100 contributed talks plus social events

On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th July an Education Strand has 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 satellite meeting Eleventh Conference on Mathematical Cultures and Practices (MC&P-XI) will run on 10-12 July, immediately before our conference. The two events will share some sessions on Monday 12th.

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

Invited Speakers:

  • Karen Parshall (University of Virginia)
  • Edmund Robertson & John O'Connor (University of St Andrews)
  • Colm Mulcahy (Spelman College)
  • Brendan Larvor (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Valeria Giardino (University of Lorraine)
  • Robin Wilson (Open University) & Raymond Flood (Oxford)
  • 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
  • Craig Fraser (University of Toronto), President CSHPM/SCHPM
  • Sarah Hart (Birkbeck), President BSHM
  • Chris Pritchard (independent) President Mathematical Association, Scottish Mathematical Council, BSHM
  • Snezana Lawrence (University of Middlesex) BSHM Education Secretary
Carving from house at Hildesheim. Creative Commons