Alexei Volkov, 2019-2020 IAS Fellow, presents his research project, A Study of Medieval Mathematical Manuscripts from Dunhuang (China) at the weekly internal seminar.
The communication will be discussed by Karine Chemla, CNRS research director at the SPHERE laboratory (Science, Philosophy, History, CNRS - University of Paris, University of Paris 1).
The presentation is devoted to the mathematical manuscripts found in Dunhuang (China) in a Buddhist monastery sealed between 1006 and 1035. The majority of the manuscripts are currently preserved in the National Library of France (Paris) and in the British Library (London). These manuscripts are unique representative samples of the handwritten texts used for mathematics instruction in the late first millennium AD not only in Dunhuang but everywhere in China. There exist preliminary studies of their contents published by Chinese and Western scholars; however, neither their critical edition no comprehensive annotated translation have ever been published. In my presentation I will discuss the works devoted to the manuscripts authored by Chinese and Western authors, and offer analysis of several mathematical problems found in the manuscripts.