OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Tel Aviv prof to give lecture on classical mathematics

11/12/1998

CORVALLIS - Sabetai Unguru, a math historian at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, will give a free public lecture Nov. 19 at Oregon State University focusing on two classical mathematical works.

His talk, "Greek and Analytical Geometry: A Historical View of Apollonius and Descartes," will begin at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union Room 206.

Unguru's lecture will look at the "Conics" of Apollonius, from approximately 200 B.C., and the "Geometry" of Descartes, 1637. Many historians claim that methods described by Apollonius more than 2,000 years ago are essentially those of modern analytical geometry. Unguru will contrast that opinion, pointing out the chasm separating the two approaches.

Unguru is professor and former director of the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at the University of Tel Aviv. He taught mathematics in Romania before emigrating to Israel. He has a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin, and was on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma.

His OSU lecture is sponsored by the Horning Endowment in the Humanities, the Department of Mathematics and the Department of History.