Santa Fe Institute
Mathematical Stories- Part 1: The Story of Calculus
Mathematicians are known for using logic and symbols and abstractions in their work but, like other people, mathematicians are also storytellers. Their work tells stories, too — stories of what is and of what might be. In his 2022 Ulam lectures, Cornell University Professor Steven Strogatz will describe how mathematicians have tried to make sense of motion and change, of a world in never-ending flux. These are stories of intuition and courage, grounded in rigor, humility, and awe.
Lecture 1: The Story of Calculus
Everyone has heard of calculus, but why is it so important? In this story of calculus, Strogatz illustrates the fantastic idea at the heart of calculus — an idea that, in partnership with medicine, philosophy, science, and technology, reshaped the course of civilization and helped make the world modern. It is, Strogatz argues, one of the greatest-ever triumphs of human creativity.
Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. After graduating from Princeton in 1980, Strogatz studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He did his doctoral work in applied mathematics at Harvard, followed by a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard and Boston University.