Dr Serafina Cuomo of Birkbeck of the University of London conducts an examination of the role of numeracy within ancient civilisations.
For transcript and download versions of this lecture, please visit the event's page on the Gresham College website: Early Mathematics Day
Dr Serafina Cuomo is a member of the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London.
Her research interets focus on understanding how knowledge changes through time, and how at a particular time specific forms of knowledge affect the lives of individuals, and the society they live in.
Her focus has been on ancient Greek and Roman cultures, and Iin particular mathematics and technology. On her page on the Birkbeck website she writes:
"Mathematics is a particular challenge for a historian because it would seem to be absolute and unchanging, and consequently distant from everyday life. My first two books have been devoted to showing that this is not the case, and that mathematics is a cultural product which can only be properly understood in its context. More than that, I have looked at how mathematics has been used as a tool and a symbol by individuals and governments through the ages: in my view, the history of a society cannot be fully understood if we take mathematics out of the picture."