Florian Cajori

"Cajori" redirects here. For the lunar crater, see Cajori (crater).
Florian Cajori

Florian Cajori at Colorado College
Born (1859-02-28)28 February 1859
St. Aignan near Thusis,[1] Graubünden, Switzerland
Died 14 August 1930(1930-08-14) (aged 71)
Berkeley, United States
Occupation Mathematician

Florian Cajori (February 28, 1859 – August 14[1][2] or 15,[3] 1930) was a Swiss-American historian of mathematics.


Florian Cajori immigrated to the United States at the age of sixteen. He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[4] He taught for a few years at Tulane University, before being appointed as professor of applied mathematics there in 1887. He was then driven north by tuberculosis. He founded the Colorado College Scientific Society and taught at Colorado College where he held, at different times, the chair in physics, the chair in mathematics, and the position Dean of the engineering department.[5] While in Colorado, he received his doctorate from Tulane in 1894.

Cajori's A History of Mathematics (1894) was the first popular presentation of the history of mathematics in the United States.[6] Based upon his reputation in the history of mathematics (even today his 1928–1929 History of Mathematical Notations has been described as "unsurpassed")[7] he was appointed in 1918 to the first history of mathematics chair in the U.S, created especially for him, at the University of California, Berkeley. He remained in Berkeley, California until his death in 1930. Cajori did no original mathematical research unrelated to the history of mathematics.[6] In addition to his numerous books, he also contributed highly recognized and popular historical articles to the American Mathematical Monthly.[5] His last work was a revision of Andrew Motte's 1729 translation of Newton's Principia, vol.1 The Motion of Bodies, but he died before it was completed. The work was finished by R.T.Crawford of Berkeley, California.

Societies and honors




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Notes and references

  1. 1 2 Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. Raymond Clare Archibald (January 1932). "Florian Cajori 1859-1930". Isis. 17 (2): 384–407. doi:10.1086/346660.
  3. Florian Cajori (ed.), Sir Isaac Newton – Principia, Vol. 1, University of California Press, 1962, p. ix.
  4. UW Madison class album, 1883
  5. 1 2 writer, staff. "Florian Cajori, 1917 MAA President". MAA Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  6. 1 2 O'Connor and Robertson, J. J. and E. F. "Florian Cajori". The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of S. Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  7. Colorado College page on Florian Cajori.
  8. Smith, David Eugene (1894). "Review: A history of mathematics by F. Cajori" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 3 (8): 190–197. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1894-00207-9.
  9. Smith, David Eugene (1921). "Review: Florian Cajori, A History of the Conceptions of Limits and Fluxions in Great Britain from Newton to Woodhouse". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 27 (9-10): 468–470. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1921-03475-6.
  10. Smith, David Eugene (1934). "Cajori's Edition of Newton's Principia". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 40 (11): 781–783. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1934-05975-5.
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