Michael Sean Mahoney

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Michael Sean Mahoney (June 30, 1939 – July 23, 2008) was a historian of science.

Mahoney was born in New York City, and did his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, graduating in 1960. He earned a Ph.D. in history and history of science from Princeton University in 1967, and immediately took a position as an assistant professor there. He remained at Princeton for over 40 years, until his death in 2008.[1][2]

A conference on the history of science and technology was held in his honor at Princeton in May 2009.[3]

Fermat biography[edit]

Mahoney's biography of Pierre de Fermat received much critical attention[4][5][6] including a scathing review by André Weil in 1973.[7][8][9] A second edition of Mahoney's book came out in 1994.

Reception[edit]

In an endorsement letter to Mahoney for his book, Scientist as Subject, Albert Ellis wrote: "you have done a beautiful job of exposing some of the fallibilities of scientists and I certainly hope that the book has a very wide and influential readership." Ellis later wrote in his autobiography that although the book did not attain many readers it was a major influence on Ellis.[10]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Mahoney, Michael Sean, The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1973. xviii+419 pp.
  • Mahoney, Michael Sean, The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601–1665. Second edition. Princeton Paperbacks. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1994. xxii+432 pp. ISBN 0-691-03666-7
  • Mahoney, Michael S., Barrow's mathematics: between ancients and moderns. Before Newton, 179–249, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1990.
  • Mahoney, Michael S., Die Anfänge der algebraischen Denkweise im 17. Jahrhundert. (German) RETE 1 (1971/72), no. 1, 15–31.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevens, Ruth (July 25, 2008), "Michael S. Mahoney, historian of science and devoted faculty member, dies", News at Princeton (Princeton University) .
  2. ^ Buchwald, Jed Z.; Burnett, D. Graham (2009), "Michael S. Mahoney, 1939–2008", Isis 100: 623–626, doi:10.1086/649137 .
  3. ^ Gordin, Michael D.; Byrne, James (2009), The Historical Career of Michael Sean Mahoney, Princeton Program in History of Science .
  4. ^ Gabbey, Alan (1975), "The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) by Michael Sean Mahoney", The British Journal for the History of Science 8 (1): 81–84, doi:10.1017/s0007087400013819, JSTOR 4025827 .
  5. ^ Gridgeman, N. T. (1976), "The Mathematical Praeface to the Elements of Geometrie of Euclid to Megara (1570) by John Dee; The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) by Michael Sean Mahoney", The American Historical Review 81 (4): 840–841, JSTOR 1864830 .
  6. ^ Ouwendijk, George (1997), "The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601-1665. by Michael Sean Mahoney", Renaissance Quarterly 50 (1): 334–335, JSTOR 3039384 .
  7. ^ Koblitz, Neal (2008), Random Curves: Journeys of a Mathematician, Springer, p. 92, ISBN 9783540740773 .
  8. ^ Landsburg, Steven E., Andre Weil, retrieved 2013-02-20 .
  9. ^ Weil, A. (1973), "Review: M. S. Mahoney, The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat", Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 79 (6): 1138–1149, doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1973-13354-3, MR 1566693 .
  10. ^ Ellis, Albert (2010). All Out!:An Autobiography. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. p. 491-492. ISBN 9781591024521. 

External links[edit]

  • Michael S. Mahoney papers. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. 38 boxes of Mahoney's books and serials related to the history of computing, mathematics, and related fields; and 17 boxes of Mahoney's archival materials, including course work, subject files, and publication drafts.