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Faith and Mathematics in the 1600's: Mersenne and More

  • Thursday, February 18, 2021
  • 3:40 PM–5:00 PM
  • North Hall 276

The Mathematics and Statistics Department welcome Karl-Dieter Crisman to be the featured speaker for their next Colloquium.

The Mathematics and Statistics Department's next Colloquium features Karl-Dieter Crisman, who is a Professor of Mathematics at Gordon College.  On February 18 at 3:40 p.m. he will present a lecture entitled: "Faith and Mathematics in the 1600's: Mersenne and More." 

Even a little math history shows that many figures were quite devout - both Newton and Leibniz, for instance, thought a great deal about theology (in quite different ways).  But there were many interesting mathematical people whose faith was personal, not just cultural, in the 1600s.  One of them, a monk named Marin Mersenne, is especially interesting because it seems that faith brought him to math, not the other way around!  In this talk, Professor Crisman will introduce you to a sampling of those people, including names you may have heard of like Pascal, and others you may not have, like Napier and Xu.  He will especially focus on the intriguing Mersenne, whose fascination with mathematics (and music, and the mechanisms of the universe) came from his battle for monotheism and his role as messenger for the scientific community.

The meeting will be held online.  To receive the link, send an email to Prof. Sunukjian at


Location details

North Hall 276

February 2021
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