Novembertagung 2021

Mathematics in Times of Crisis

32nd Novembertagung on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics

Photo Credit: Maaskant

The Novembertagung on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics is an annual international conference aimed at PhD and postdoctoral students (young scholars) in the history and philosophy of mathematics and neighboring fields. It provides an opportunity for young researchers to present and discuss their research in a safe, informal environment, and serves as a place for them to share experience and advice, as well as to establish new contacts. Participants are welcome from around the world.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will be held online from November 18th–20th 2021 on the topic of Mathematics in Times of Crisis. The conference will be held during the day in Central European Time.


Crisis, instability and times of uncertainty have undoubtedly influenced the development of the sciences,  and mathematics is no exception. Throughout history, mathematicians found themselves facing wide-ranging challenges, both internal and external to mathematics, to which they had to respond in new and creative ways. Inspired by contemporary global events, this conference is interested in the ways that times of crisis shaped the development of mathematics. Such times of uncertainty might be frustrating and confounding for mathematicians, but from a historical perspective, they can be viewed as an engine of mathematical creativity.

Keynote Lectures

  1. Amir Asghari (Liverpool John Moores University): “Omar Khayyam, The Mathematician who Stood up to Crisis”
  2. Juliet Floyd (Boston University): “Wittgenstein and Turing”
  3. Tilman Sauer (Universität Mainz): “History of Mathematics versus History of Physics”

The conference is organised by Brigitte Stenhouse (Open University, UK), Richard Lawrence (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen), Tuya Sa (Loughborough University), Tobias Schütz (Universität Mainz), and Rosie Lev-Halutz (Tel-Aviv University)