Interim Director Announcement

This article first appeared in ISAW Newsletter 15, Spring 2016.

A man wearing a suit and tie looks into the camera. There is a wall of bookshelves behind him.NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Provost David McLaughlin have announced that Alexander Jones, ISAW’s Professor of the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity, will serve as Interim Director as of September 1. Alexander Jones previously served as Acting Director of ISAW in Spring 2013 and as Vice Director in academic year 2013-14. Founder Shelby White comments, “Alexander Jones was ISAW’s first faculty member. He brings to the role of interim director not only his unique scholarship in the history of science, his dedication to his graduate students, but also his continued participation in ISAW’s ground breaking exhibitions program. He has a great depth of knowledge of ISAW and will be an outstanding interim director.”

A man in a suit and tie speaks from a podium. The photograph is taken from the side and a bit behind him. Beyond him, one can see a wood-paneled room with bookshelves and a large fireplace. Another man stands, and a woman sits, listening. ©NYU Photo Bureau: (Pollard) Alexander Jones’ work centers on the history and transmission of the mathematical sciences, especially astronomy. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a full member of the Académie Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences, and recipient of several awards and honors including a Guggenheim fellowship and the Francis Bacon Award in the History of Science. Before coming to NYU in 2008, he was on the faculty for sixteen years in the Department of Classics and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto.

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 and Roman period astronomy, and the scientific work of Claudius Ptolemy.

Together with Visiting Research Scholar Christine Proust, he curated ISAW’s 2011 exhibition on Babylonian Mathematics, Before Pythagoras, and he is also curating the forthcoming ISAW exhibition Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity opening October 19th, 2016 (page 8).

Two men wearing suits and holding wine glasses smile and speak to each other. The man on the left holds a glass of white wine. The man on the right is wearing a necklace of purple and white flowers. Interim Director Alexander Jones and Leon Levy Director Roger Bagnall. ©NYU Photo Bureau: (Pollard) Please join the ISAW community in congratulating Alexander Jones on this significant appointment.