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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



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Karine Chemla

Karine Chemla's research fields include the history of mathematics in ancient and medieval China within the context of a world history of mathematics. She also carries out research on mathematics in 18th and 19th century Europe. More generally, Chemla focuses on the relationships between mathematics and the cultures within which they are produced, a topic she approaches from a historical anthropology viewpoint. The systematic description of these scholarly cultures is one of her main interests at the moment. She pays special attention to the texts and inscriptions with which scientific research is conducted. In relation to this topic, she edited History of science, history of text(Springer, 2004), a collection of papers devoted to this issue. She published with Guo Shuchun (Academia Sinica, Beijing) Les neuf chapitres. Le classique mathématique de la Chine ancienne et ses commentaires, Dunod, 2004, a critical edition and French translation of the mathematical book that was perceived for centuries in China as the most important of all mathematical Canons. In this book, Chemla compiled the first-ever glossary of technical terms used in the ancient Chinese mathematical sources. She recently edited a collective volume on the history and historiography of mathematical proof in the ancient world.