**Topics in the History of Math: A Dangerous Mathematical Theory**

MATH 87 A00

Section ID: 8960

Bowers, Adam (abowers@ucsd.edu)

Location: ~~APM 7321~~ The seminar will meet online only

Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

Seminar will meet weeks 1-10

Can an obscure mathematical idea lead to political revolution? Amir Alexander's book *Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World* discusses the historical impact of the theory of infinitesimals and frames it in the social and political context of the time. How were the Jesuits involved? And what does it have to do with Thomas Hobbes? We will read and discuss the book in order to find answers to these questions. The book is written for a general audience, so no technical expertise is required.

Required Reading: Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World by Amir Alexander (Link goes to publisher's webpage for the book.)