Academics - Faculty Profiles

Judith V. Grabiner
Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professor of Mathematics

Judith V. Grabiner, PhD

    With Pitzer Since: 1985
    Field Group: Mathematics
    Campus Address: Fletcher 224
    Phone: 909.607.3160

    M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University
    B.S., University of Chicago

Research Interests:

History of mathematics and science

Recent Courses:

Mathematics, Philosophy, and the “Real World” (Math1)
Mathematics in Many Cultures (MATH10G)
Calculus I (MATH30)
Calculus II (Math 31)
History of Mathematics (MATH108)

Recent Selected Publications:

“How to Teach Your Own Liberal Arts Mathematics Course,” Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, vol. 1, no. 1 (January 2011).

A Historian Looks Back: The Calculus as Algebra and Selected Writings. Washington DC: Mathematical Association of America, 2010.

“Why Did Lagrange ‘Prove’ the Parallel Postulate?” [reprinted from American Mathematical Monthly] in Mircea Pitici, ed., Best Writing in Mathematics: 2010. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.

“Mathematics, Philosophy and the ‘Real World’,” 36-lecture course on DVD. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company. Released  June 23, 2009.

Recent Conferences and Invited Talks:

“Mathematics: What Are We Talking about, What Makes Us Think It’s True, and Why Should Humanistic People Care?”, talk at the Rotary Club of Claremont, Claremont, CA, March 25, 2011.

“Why Proof? A Historian’s Perspective,” paper presented at the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction Study 19: Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, May 13, 2009.

“Liberal Arts Mathematics,” paper presented at the meeting of Ohio Project NExT, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, October 30, 2009.

“Lagrange, Symmetry and Space,” paper presented at the Mathematical Association of America Ohio Meeting, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, October 30, 2009.

“It’s All for the Best: Optimization in the History of Science,” paper presented at the Mathematical Association of America  Ohio Meeting, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, October 31, 2009.

“Why Should Historical Truth Matter to Teachers of Mathematics? Dispelling Myths while Promoting Maths,” paper presented at the California Mathematics Council Community Colleges 38th Annual Conference, Monterey, CA, December 12, 2009.

Recent Selected Grants, Awards, and Honors:

Selected as an inaugural member of the 2012 Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.

Recipient, Lester R. Ford Award for best article in the American Mathematical Monthly, awarded August 2010 for “Why Did Lagrange ‘Prove’ the Parallel Postulate?”  This is Professor Grabiner's fourth Lester Ford award, more than any other mathematician has won.

Additional Information:

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website