### Emmylou Haffner

Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes, ÉNS-CNRS

Thursday 22 February 2024, 4.00pm – 5.00pm

Lecture Theatre D (Mathematical Institute)

** Drafts, notes and notebooks: some things we see behind the curtain of published mathematics **

The published mathematical text as we are used to reading it is a carefully structured communication tool, complying with criteria established by the scientific community. It represents, as Reuben Hersh put it, "the front of mathematics". In this talk, I would like to take a closer look at "the back of mathematics", what happens before publication, as can be seen in certain archival documents, namely drafts, notes and notebooks. Such manuscripts are essentially the mathematician's laboratory. They unveil writing practices designed for the research phase — the back of mathematics — that can differ deeply from the ones observed in publications. Drawing from a selection of historical examples from several archival sources, I will consider questions related to the materiality of mathematical texts, the writing processes in mathematics, or the choices made in writing a text appropriate for communication to the scientific community. I will suggest that such texts are an integral part of mathematical practice, and indeed crucial to understand its history.

series: Pure Mathematics Colloquium

organiser: Scott Harper