Expert in ethnomathematics, math history to give Sampson Lecture

Ubiratan D’Ambrósio, an authority on the fields of ethnomathematics, math education and the history of mathematics, offers two talks at Bates College on Thursday, Sept. 18.

At 4:30 p.m., D’Ambrosio gives an informal talk titled The Emergence of Mathematical Research in the Early Independent Countries in the Americas. A Case Study: Joaquim Gomes de Souza, an Enigmatic Brazilian 19th-Century Mathematician. The event takes place in Room 104, Hathorn Hall.

His second talk, Bates’ annual Sampson Lecture, is titled Ethnomathematics in a Global World. It begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Sponsored by the Bates Department of Mathematics and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, both events are open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-6237.

Trained as a mathematician, D’Ambrosio broadened his scope to mathematics education and the history of mathematics, and is highly esteemed within both specialties. He has the rare distinction of having earned both the 2001 Kenneth O. May Prize from the International Commission on History of Mathematics, and in 2005, the Felix Klein Medal from the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction.

D’Ambrosio is professor emeritus of mathematics at the State University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, and currently teaches at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, São Paulo State University and the University of São Paulo. He serves as president of both the Brazilian Society of the History of Mathematics and the Institute for Future Studies, based in Austria.

He is the author of Education for a Society in Transition (Papirus, 1999), Ethnomathematics: A Bond Between Traditions and Modernity (Autêntica, 2001), Ethnomatematics (Pitagora Editrice, 2002), and many other books and articles.

D’Ambrosio previously taught as an associate professor of mathematics at the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo and visiting professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He has served as chief of the Unit of Curriculum of the Organization of American States, a member of the Council of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and a member of the Governing Board of the Institute for Information Technology in Education of UNESCO.

D’Ambrósio was born in São Paulo. He studied at the University of São Paulo, Brown University and the University of Genoa, Italy.

The Richard W. Sampson Lecture at Bates honors the memory of Sampson, professor emeritus of mathematics, who served on the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.

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