Name: Craig Fraser
Office Phone: 416-978-5135
Office Location: Room 317, Old Vic
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: 1:00-2:30 on Wed.
Degrees: B.A. (Hon.), M.A., Ph.D
My primary area of research is the history of analysis and mechanics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with particular attention to foundational and conceptual questions. I have written an account of the original formulation by Jean d’Alembert of “d’Alembert’s principle” (1743) in dynamics. I have documented a major foundational shift in the writings on calculus of Euler and Lagrange as the calculus was separated from geometry and made part of pure analysis. I am currently completing a detailed study of the evolution of the calculus of variations in the nineteenth century, focusing on the work of such mathematicians as Hamilton, Jacobi, Mayer and Hilbert. A secondary field of interest is the history of cosmology, particularly the relationship between relativistic cosmology and observational cosmology in the twentieth century.
I teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on the history of mathematics and the history of astronomy.
"Nonstandard Analysis, Infinitesimals and the History of the Calculus," in David E. Rowe and Wann-Sheng Horng (Eds.), A Delicate Balance. Global Perspectives on Innovation and Tradition in the History of Mathematics A Festschrift in Honor of Joseph W. Dauben
"Sufficient Conditions, Fields and the Calculus of Variations,” Historia Mathematica 36 (2009), pp. 420-427
The Cosmos: A Historical Perspective (Greenwood Publishers, 2006).
“The Calculus of Variations: A Historical Survey,” in A History of Analysis, Ed. H. N. Jahnke, (American Mathematical Society, 2003), pp. 355-384.
"History of Mathematics in the Eighteenth Century", in Roy Porter (Ed.), The Cambridge History of Science Volume 4 Eighteenth-Century Science (2003), pp. 305-327.