On Tuesday 15th March at 4 pm Professor GUO Shuchun (Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Beijing) will give a talk at the Needham Research Institute entitled:

‘On some questions relating to the Suan shu shu’

The talk will be in English, and will be followed by discussion. All are welcome.

Professor Guo is an eminent Chinese historian of mathematics, and has recently published (with Karine Chemla) a fully commented French translation of the Jiuzhang suanshu, the most ancient Chinese work on mathematics handed down through scribal transmission (Les neuf chapitres, Dunod, Paris 2004).

In its present form the Jiiuzhang suanshu is thought by some to date from the beginning of the common era. The Suan shu shu is a manuscript discovered in a tomb of the second century BC, and may therefore antedate the Jiuzhang suanshu by at least two centuries. Its discovery is a major event in the history of world mathematics, and its connection with later works is a matter of lively discussion.

Further details of the Suan shu shu, including a freely downloadable translation and commentary, can be found at www.nri.org.uk/suanshushu.html

The Needham Research Institute is in Sylvester Road, directly behind Robinson College.