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Joseph W. Dauben
Position: Distinguished Professor
Campus Affiliation: Lehman College
Degrees/Diplomas: PhD Harvard University
Research Interests: History of Science; History of Mathematics; Sociology of Science; Science and Technology in China

CUNY Department(s): History (Lehman)

Tracks taught in MALS: Science and Technology Studies

Courses Taught in MALS: MALS 74100 The Conceptual Structure of Science, MALS 74200 The Practice of Science and Medicine, MALS 72600 Social Impacts of Science and Technology: Case Studies

Selected Publications:


Georg Cantor: His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979), 404pp. Chinese translation by Zheng Yu–xin, Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 1989. Reprinted with a paperback edition by Princeton University Press, 1990.

Editor, Festschrift in Honor of Erwin Hiebert, Historia Mathematica (New York: Academic Press, 1980).

Editor, Mathematical Perspectives: Essays on Mathematics and its Historical Development (New York: Academic Press, 1981), 272pp.

History and Philosophy of Science: Selected Papers. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, J. Dauben and V.S. Sexton, eds., 412 (New York: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1983), 168pp.

The Intersection of History and Mathematics, J. Dauben, Chikara Sasaki, and Mitsuo Sugiura, eds., (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1994).

Abraham Robinson. The Creation of Nonstandard Analysis, A Personal and Mathematical Odyssey (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995; paperback ed., 1998; Chinese translation by Wang Qian (Beijing: Science Press, 2005), 548pp.

States of the Art. Flores quadrivii: Studies in Honor of Christoph J. Scriba, J. Dauben, Menso Folkerts, Eberhard Knobloch, and Hans Wußing, eds., San Diego: Academic Press, 1996, 394pp.

Editor, The History of Mathematics from Antiquity to the Present (NY: Garland Press, 1985, 467pp.; rev. ed., Albert Lewis, ed., CD–ROM version, The American Mathematical Society, 2000).

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, 689 pp.

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-Samploniuso-, M. Folkerts, and Benno van Dalen, eds., in Boethius (Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 2002), 470 pp.


“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 World Wide Web, and is hosted at the public web site of the University of Padua Observatory, the Italian Supercomputer Center CRS4, and on the intranet of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  


“The Development of Cantorian Set Theory,” Chapter V of From the Calculus to Set Theory, 1630–1910, ed. Ivor Grattan-Guinness (London: Duckworths, 1977): 181–219.

“Mathematics in Germany and France in the Early 19th Century: Transmission and Transformation,” in Epistemological and Social Problems of the Development of the Sciences in the Early 19th Century, ed. M. Otte (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1981): 371–399.

“Conceptual Revolutions and the History of Mathematics: Two Studies in the Growth of Knowledge,” in E. Mendelsohn, ed. Transformation and Tradition in the Sciences (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1984): 81–103.

“The United States” and (with Liu Dun) “China,” chapters in 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): 263–285, and pp. 297–306.

“Internationalizing Mathematics East and West: Individuals and Institutions in the Emergence of a Modern Mathematical Community in China,” in Mathematics Unbound: The Evolution of an International Mathematical Community, K.H. Parshall and A. Rice, eds. (Providence, R.I., and London, England: The American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society, 2002): 253–286.

“History of Mathematics in the 19th Century: An Historiographic Overview,” Chapter 5 in From Natural Philosophy to the Sciences: Historiography of Nineteenth-Century Science, David Cahan, ed. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2003): 129–162.

“Georg Cantor’s Set Theory,” Chapter 42 in Helen Lauer, ed., History and Philosophy of Science for African Undergraduates (Ibadan, Nigeria: Hope Publications, 2003): 536–561.

“El desarollo de la teoría de conjuntos cantoriana,” in I. Grattan-Guinness, ed., Del cálculo a la teoría de conjuntos, 1630–1910. Una introducción histórica (Madrid: Alianza Editoria, 1984): 235–282.

“Abraham Robinson and Nonstandard Analysis: History, Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics,” in P. Kitcher and W. Aspray, eds., New Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987): 177–200.

“Mathematics,” Chapter 4 of The Reader’s Adviser (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1988): 82–119.

“Abraham Robinson: Les Infinitesimaux, l’Analyse Non-Standard, et les Fondements des Mathématiques,” in H. Barreau, ed., La Mathématique Non–Standard (Fondements des Sciences; Paris: Editions du CNRS, 1989): 157–184.

“La Matematica,” in Storia delle Scienze. Le Scienze Fisiche e Astronomiche, W. Shea, ed. (Milano: Banca Popolare di Milano, 1991, and Einaudi, 1992): 258–289.

“Are There Revolutions in Mathematics?” In The Space of Mathematics, J. Echeverría, A. Ibarra and T. Mormann, eds. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1992): 203–226.

“The ‘Pythagorean Theorem’ and Chinese Mathematics. Liu Hui’s Commentary on the 句股 Gou Gu Theorem in Chapter Nine of the 九章算術 Jiu Jang Suan Shu,” Amphora. Festschrift in Honor of Hans Wussing, Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1992, pp. 133–155.

“Conceptual Revolutions and the History of Mathematics: Two Studies in the Growth of Knowledge,” Chapter 4 of Revolutions in Mathematics, D. Gillies, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992; issued in paperback, 1995): 49–71.

“Revolutions Revisited,” Chapter 5 of Revolutions in Mathematics, D. Gillies, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992; issued in paperback, 1995): 72–82.

“Mathematics: An Historian’s Perspective,” in The Intersection of History and Mathematics. Proceedings of the International Symposium on History of Mathematics, Sasaki Chikara, ed. (Tokyo, 1990; Basel: Birkhäuser, 1994): 1–13.

“Mathematical Exchanges Between the United States and China,” (with Zhang Dian–Zhou, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China), in History of Modern Mathematics, E. Knobloch and D. Rowe, eds. (Orlando: Academic Press, 1994): 263–297.

“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.

“Paradigms and Proofs: How Revolutions Transform Mathematics,” Paradigms and Mathematics, Elena Ausejo and Mariano Hormigón, eds. (Madrid: Siglo XXI de España, 1996): 117–148.

“Arguments, Logic and Proof: Mathematics, Logic and the Infinite,” History of Mathematics and Education: Ideas and Experiences. Proceedings of the Essen Symposium on Foundations and 19th-century Mathematics, H.N. Jahnke, N. Knoche and M. Otte, eds., Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Studien zur Wissenschafts-, Sozial- und Bildungsgeschichte der Mathematik, vol. 11 (1996): 113–148.


Essay Review of Loren Graham and Jean–Michel Kantor: Naming Infinity. A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, reviewed in Historia Mathematica, reviewed for Historia Mathematica, published on-line November 21, 2011 (print version to appear):

Essay Review of Catherine Jami: The Emperor’s New Mathematics. Western Learning and Imperial Authority During the Kangxi Reign (1662–1722). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, reviewed for Sino–Western Cultural Relations Journal, XXXIV (2012): 70–81.


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; a transcription of the interview (in Spanish) is available on–line at:; The program itself may be viewed at:

About Professor Dauben and his Recent Scholarship:

Joseph W. Dauben is is a membre effectif of the International Academy of History of Science and a corresponding member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. 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. He is the author of Georg Cantor, His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite and Abraham Robinson: The Creation of Nonstandard Analysis, a Personal and Mathematical Odyssey. 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), 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.