^^Classics, phys & math.



math.ubc.ca/~cass  University of British Columbia, Bill Casselman

  1. G. P. Dandelin - Hyperboloids of revolution

    A translation of the paper "Sur l'hyperboloid de revolution" (1826) by G. P. Dandelin, in which he recalls his construction of the focal points of conic sections of circular cones, and extends it to sections of one-sheeted hyperboloids of revolution. This includes nice geometrical proofs of the theorems of Pascal and Brianchon on inscribed and circumscribed hexagons of ellipses. See also the notes on Pascal's Theorem.

  2. H. J. S. Smith - Note on continued fractions

    This is the paper in which Smith proposed the now classical geometrical interpretation of continued fractions in terms of lattice points in the plane, as well as another little known one on the line.

  3. E. Rutherford - The scattering of alpha and beta particles ...
  4. The Calendar

    The entry from the 11th Edition of the Encyclopaedia.

  5. Archimedes - The quadrature of the parabola

    Heath's translation


In Praise of Scribes (De Laude Scriptorum). Johannes Trithemius.

Erasmo da Rotterdam. Elogio della follia. In praise of Folly.

Why is mathematics teaching so poor?

"Let us ask why on earth the Philosopher is contented with obscure teaching. We reply that it is just as in the temples, where curtains are used for the purpose of preventing everyone, and especially the impure, from encountering things they are not worthy of meeting. So too Aristotle uses the obscurity of his philosophy as a veil, so that good people may for that reason stretch their minds even more, whereas empty minds that are lost through carelessness will be put to flight by the obscurity when they encounter sentences like these." (The commentator Ammonius (5th c.) On Aristotle's Categories, Prolegomena 7.7-7.14. Translated by S. Marc Cohen and Gareth Matthews)


Those whom the gods wish to destroy universities, they make deans.
From the autobiography of Salvador Luria, Nobel Prize winner for his work in genetics