Meet the Curators

picture of Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones studied Classics at the University of British Columbia and the history of the ancient mathematical sciences in the Department of the History of Mathematics at Brown University. Before coming to NYU, he was for sixteen years on the faculty of the Department of Classics and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. His work centers on the history and transmission of the mathematical sciences, especially astronomy.

He is the author of several editions of Greek scientific texts, among them Pappus of Alexandria's commentary on the corpus of Hellenistic geometrical treatises known as the "Treasury of Analysis"; an anonymous Byzantine astronomical handbook based on Islamic sources; and a collection of about two hundred fragmentary astronomical texts, tables, and horoscopes from the papyri excavated a century ago by Grenfell and Hunt at Oxyrhynchus. His current research interests include the contacts between Babylonian and Greco-Roman astronomy and astrology, the Antikythera Mechanism and other artifacts of Hellenistic astronomy, and the scientific work of Claudius Ptolemy. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and recipient of several awards and honors including a Guggenheim fellowship and the Francis Bacon Award in the History of Science.

picture of Christine Proust

Christine Proust

Christine Proust is a historian of mathematics and ancient sciences, specializing in cuneiform sources. She is a researcher associated with the SPHERE joint team (CNRS and University Paris-Diderot, and currently a resident at the Institut Méditeranéen de Recherches Avancées in Marseille. During 2009/2010 she was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and a Visiting Research Scholar at ISAW. She obtained a doctoral thesis in 2004 under the direction of Pr. Christian Houzel. Her research on the history of ancient mathematics began with the study of mathematical cuneiform texts from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nippur, now kept in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul and at the University of Jena. She has studied the organization and content of the mathematical curriculum in Nippur’s scribal schools during the Old-Babylonian period (early second millennium BC). She has published two books on the Nippur texts: Tablettes mathématiques de Nippur (2007) and Tablettes mathématiques de la collection Hilprecht (2008). Her current research is focused on the specificities of technical writing exhibited in mathematical cuneiform texts. She is also developing a historiographical project on Otto Neugebauer’s papers.