Joseph W. Dauben

Joseph W. Dauben - Distinguished Professor -  profile photo

Research Interests

  • History of Science; History of Mathematics; the Scientific Revolution; Sociology of Science; Intellectual History, 17–18th Centuries; History of Chinese Science Position: Professor, History Professor, Liberal Studies; Professor, Biography and Memoir


  • Ph.D., Harvard University


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • Lehman College

Joseph W. Dauben is a membre effectif of the International Academy of History of Science, a corresponding member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and a member of the Society of Fellows of the American Academy in Rome. He has been editor of Historia Mathematica, an international journal for the history of mathematics, and chairman of the International Commission on the History of Mathematics. A graduate of Claremont McKenna College (A.B. ’66) and Harvard University (A.M., Ph.D. ’72), Professor Dauben has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and Clare Hall (Cambridge University, UK), and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Senior ACLS Fellowship. He is an honorary member of the Institute for History of Natural Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he was the Zhu Kezhen Visiting Professor in spring of 2005. In January of 2012 he received the Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Prize for History of Mathematics, conferred by the American Mathematical Society only once every four years in recognition of a career of outstanding contributions to the history of mathematics.

Selected Publications

  • Fuzzy Logic and Mathematics: A Historical Perspective, with George J. Klir and Radim Bĕlohlávek (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), 553 pp.
    Book cover: Fuzzy logic and mathematics
  • 九章筭術  Nine Chapters on the Art of Mathematics. A Critical Edition and English Translation based upon a New Collation of the Ancient Text and Modern Chinese Translation (with GUO Shuchun and XU Yibao). Library of Chinese Classics (Shenyang: Liaoning Education Press, 2013), 3 volumes, 1161 pp.
    Book Cover: Nine Chapters on the Art of Mathematics
  • Abraham Robinson, The Creation of Nonstandard Analysis: A Personal and Mathematical Odyssey (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995).
    Book cover: Abraham Robinson
  • George Cantor, His Mathematic and Philosophy of the Infinite (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979; rep. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989).
    Book cover: georg Cantor

Edited Works:

  • Writing the History of History of Mathematics (an Historiography Project of the International Commission on History of Mathematics), J. Dauben and C.J. Scriba, eds. (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2002).
  • From China to Paris: 2000 Years of Mathematical Transmission. Proceedings of a Conference Held at the Rockefeller Foundation Research and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy, May, 2000, J. Dauben, Y. Dold-Samplonius, M. Folkerts, and Benno van Dalen, eds., in Boethius (Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 2002).

Chapters in Books/Articles/Reviews/Essays:

  • “Measuring Distances, Irrational Numbers, and Infinitesimals—the Dangers and Anachronisms of Misrepresenting texts from Ancient China to the works of Leibniz, Newton, Cantor, Euler, Cauchy, and Robinson,” in Anachronism(s) in the history of mathematics. Proceedings of the 2018 Bacon Conference, Caltech, Niccolò Guicciardini, ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 307–357.
  • “Uncertainty and Inexactness in Set Theory: Georg Cantor’s Discovery of the Paradoxes of Transfinite Numbers,” in (Un)certainty and (In)exactness: Proceedings of the 1st CLE Colloquium for Philosophy and History of Formal Sciences (CLE4Science), Fábio Bertato, ed. (Campinas, Brazil: Coleção CLE, 2016): 1‒33.
  • “Math at the Met” (with Marjorie Senechal), The Mathematical Intelligencer 37 (3) (September 2015): 41–54. Selected by Princeton University Press for its anthology: The Best Writing on Mathematics 2016, Mircea Pitici, ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017): 155–186.
  • “The Evolution of Mathematics in Ancient China: From the Newly Discovered Shu and Suan shu shu Bamboo Texts to the Nine Chapters on the Art of Mathematics,” Notices of the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians 2 (2) (December, 2014): 24–51.
  • “Matematica ed ideologia: la politica degli infinitesimali,” Davide Spagnoli, trans. Dianoia. Rivista di filosofia del Dipartimento di Filosofia e Comunicazione dell’Università di Bologna 19 (2014): 229–278.
  • “Chinese Mathematics,” in The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam. A Sourcebook, Victor Katz, ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007: 187–384. Chinese translation: 东方数学选粹:埃及、美索不达米亚、中国、印度与伊斯兰, Ji Zhigang et al., trans. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaotong daxue chubanche, 2016): 123−321.
  • “Paradigms and Proofs: How Revolutions Transform Mathematics,” in Paradigms and Mathematics, Elena Ausejo and Mariano Hormigón, eds. (Madrid: Siglo XXI de España, 1996): 117–148.
  • “La Matematica,” in Storia delle Scienze. Le Scienze Fisiche e Astronomiche, W. Shea ed. (Milano: Banca Populare di Milan, 1991, and Einaudi, 1992): 258–280.
  • “Are There Revolutions in Mathematics?” in The Space of Mathematics, J. Echieverria, A. Ibarra, and T. Mormann, eds. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1992): 203–226.
  • “Conceptual Revolutions and the History of Mathematics: Two Studies in the Growth of Knowledge,” in Revolutions in Mathematics, Donald Gillies, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992): 49–7l.
  • “Revolutions Revisited,” in Revolutions in Mathematics, Donald Gillies, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992): 72–82.
  • “Peirce and History of Science,” in Peirce and Contemporary Thought: Philosophical Inquiries. Proceedings of the Plenary Lectures delivered at the Peirce Sesquicentennial Congress (Harvard University, 1989). (New York: Fordham University Press, 1995): 146–195.

Films and Videotapes:

  • “Georg Cantor and the Battle for Transfinite Set Theory,” Invited Plenary Lecture, Annual Joint Meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS Centennial Meeting) and the Mathematical Association of America, Atlanta, GA, January, 1988; distributed by the Mathematical Association of America (50 minutes).
  • “The Art of Renaissance Science,” for Science Television, 1990 (53 minutes).  This production is currently viewable on the Internet at:

Television Programs:

  • Interviewed in New York City by David Malone on the subject of Georg Cantor for a television program “Dangerous Minds,” October 13, 2006; broadcast on BBC-4 spring 2007.
  • Interviewed in New York City by Robin Dashwood on the subject of ancient Chinese mathematics for a four-part BBC series on “The Story of Mathematics,” August 11, 2007.
  • Interviewed in Halle, Germany, by Marcus de Satoy (Oxford University) on the subject of Georg Cantor and the history of transfinite set theory, for a four-part BBC series on “The Story of Mathematics,” October 22, 2007.
  • Interviewed by Eduardo Punset for the television program “Redes” on Spanish National Television. The episode, “Así aprendimos a contar” (How we learn to count) was aired in Spain on September 14, 2008.
Joseph W. Dauben - Distinguished Professor -  profile photo


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • Lehman College