Professor of Mathematics
Rutherford Discovery Fellow (2013-2017)
Principal Investigator (Marsden Fund) (2011-2013)
Ph.D. (2005) Brown University
Fulbright Scholar (1999)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
Telephone: +64 3 364 2267
Fax: +64 3 364 2587
I am a Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. I have a first-class honours undergraduate degree, with a double major in Mathematics and Classical Studies (with an emphasis in Greek and Latin). After completing a Masters degree, granted with distinction, I was awarded a Fulbright graduate student award which supported PhD research at Brown University, Providence RI, USA, at the Department of the History of Mathematics under the expert guidance of the late Professor David Pingree, Dr Alice Slotsky, and Dr Kim Plofker, reading original texts in the Exact Sciences in Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Cuneiform.
I am the On-Campus Representative for Fulbright New Zealand for the University of Canterbury.
I am the joint director of HAMSI (History of Mathematical Sciences in India) a research hub devoted to the study of the astral sciences on the Indian subcontinent.
I am the director and a founding member of the New Zealand South Asia Research Center, Christchurch, New Zealand (NZSARC), a New Zealand based organization dedicated to promote local and international collaboration of research on South Asia.
I am the New Zealand Vice-President for the Australian Association for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS).
I am a mathematician with research expertise in the History of Mathematics. I combine a sound reading knowledge of several arcane languages and read primary source mathematical manuscripts from antiquity to investigate questions related to their content, context, origins, and their theoretical and practical ramifications, and consider issues of the transmission of mathematical knowledge from culture to culture.
I am currently involved in research programmes on:
- History of Mathematical Tables and related computational procedures in second millenium Sanskrit Sources
- Sciences in the ancient world and the circulation of knowledge
- Ancient Mathematical Astronomy and Modelling
- History of Mathematical Astronomy on the Indian subcontinent
- History of Mathematics in the Classroom
I am happy to provide research support and collaboration. Please contact me by email.
See my current research projects for a detailed description
- Mathematical Tables: The role of tables in ancient and medieval Sanskrit Mathematics and associated algorithms. I am actively involved in the international three-year project funded by the Marsden Fund, New Zealand
- The investigation of Sanskrit texts and manuscripts on mathematics and astronomy. This research is supported by a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship
- The critical edition and commentary of the twelfth century Arabic work in mathematical astronomy, the Zīj al-Sanjarī by Al-Khāzinī.
- The critical edition and commentary of a seventh century Sanskrit work in mathematical astronomy: the Commentary on Brahmagupta's Khaṇḍakhādyaka by Āmarāja.
- Hypsicles of Alexandria and his two works the Anaphorica and the so-called Book Fourteen of Euclid's Elements.
- Mathematical Notation: The role and function of mathematical notation and symbolism, particularly in the emergence of symbols for various aspects of calculus in the seventeenth century and beyond.
- Mathematical Diagrams: Diagrams represent an element of mathematical reasoning which is not part of the written text. Are they complementary or independent of the text?
- Mathematics Education. Acceleration of High Ability Students. Interaction and learning techniques in mathematics tutorials. The effects of NCEA on tertiary mathematics entrants.
Graduate Student Supervision
I welcome inquiries regarding graduate student supervision. See my research projects page for details.