Beginning with Plato and ending on the eve of the twentieth century, CHNM Director of Research Projects, Dan Cohen’s latest book, Equations from God (Johns Hopkins University Press), tells the story of how and why so many Europeans and Americans came to see mathematics as a divine language, a way to ascend above the petty differences of mankind and commune with the mind of the Deity. Although it focuses on an ostensibly technical topic, it is written in a plainspoken way that makes the world of the mathematician accessible to a general audience, and it contextualizes that world within the religious, social, and political upheaval of the Victorian era. And it reveals surprising ideas from many unpublished works such as diaries, notebooks, sermons, and letters – ideas that remain remarkably relevant in today’s world.
Equations from God is now available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other outlets. Cohen is coauthor with Roy Rosenzweig, of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press) and manages several projects at CHNM including Echo and Zotero.