Where do Mathematical Symbols Come From?

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Where do we get our mathematical symbols from? Why is the set of integers called ℤ ? When was the equals sign first used? How about zero? Good notation tends to catch on quickly, whereas bad notation can obscure beautiful theory. 

The lecture explores how the introduction of new notation has paved the way for new leaps in understanding, and considers some mathematical quirks of language, such as what the number 4 in English has in common with the number 11 in Russian.

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This event was on Tue, 27 Apr 2021

Sarah Hart Professor of Geometry

Professor Sarah Hart

Professor of Geometry

Sarah Hart is the first woman Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, and was appointed in 2020. She is Professor of Mathematics and until recently was Head of Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck, University of London.

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