Ellen Abrams

PhD Candidate
Department of Science and Technology Studies
Cornell University


My primary field of research is the cultural and intellectual history of American science, specifically American mathematics. My current dissertation project examines the social, cultural, and professional implications of modern mathematics in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century United States. By examining the technical development of modern mathematics alongside popular, administrative, and biographical sources, I show that while the foundational definition of mathematics was at stake around the turn of the century, so too were conceptions of what counted as mathematical work, who counted as a mathematician, and how each was thought to contribute to American society. This project has been funded by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, the National Academy of Sciences, the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, and Cornell University.

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