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March 30th, 2014, 11:23 PM  #1 
Site Admin Joined: Mar 2014 From: Washington Posts: 118 Thanks: 92 Math Focus: Statistics  math historians
What does a math historian do?

March 31st, 2014, 05:40 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  According to what I've heard nonmath historians say, draw conclusions that aren't there. They look at the early development of mathematics to see what concepts were developed where and by who, what the focus of math in different times and places was, and so forth. It's a minor interest of mine; two years ago I went to a fair number of history of mathematics talks at the JMM. (Not so much this year because I was busier.) 
March 31st, 2014, 10:02 AM  #3 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 14,417 Thanks: 1025 
Found this: "It depends on the historian. Most historians of mathematics probably have deep associations with mathematics in some way, but being a mathematician it is not required any more than a sports historian should be a professional athelete. But surely the more mathematics one knows the more one tends to appreciate its history." 

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