John Fauvel

John Fauvel
Born(1947-07-21)21 July 1947
Died12 May 2001(2001-05-12) (aged 53)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Essex
University of Warwick
Known forPresident of the British Society for the History of Mathematics
Scientific career
History of mathematics
InstitutionsOpen University
ThesisFuzzy Theory (1976)
Doctoral advisorDavid Orme Tall
InfluencesRaymond Flood, Robin Wilson
InfluencedRaymond Flood, Robin Wilson

John Fauvel (21 July 1947 – 12 May 2001) was a British mathematician and historian of mathematics.


Fauvel was from Scotland, where his father was a principal, and he attended Trinity College, Glenalmond. He then studied mathematics at the University of Essex, where he graduated in 1970, and at the University of Warwick, where he obtained his master's degree in 1973. In 1977, he obtained his MPhil from the University of Warwick under the supervision of David Orme Tall, with a thesis entitled Fuzzy Theory.


From 1974, Fauvel worked at the Open University, as a professor from 1979. From 1991 to 1994, he was President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics and he also published its newsletter. From 1992 to 1996, he directed an international study group on the relations between history and mathematics pedagogy, which is affiliated with the International Commission for Mathematical Education (ICMI), and in 2000 he co-directed a major study of ICMI. In 1998, he was invited lecturer by the New Zealand Mathematical Society. Fauvel was a visiting scholar in the Mathematics Department at Colorado College on several occasions, including one on a Fulbright Fellowship during the Winter and Spring of 1999.

Fauvel died on 12 May 2001, from complications of liver disease.


Fauvel is known as the author of books on the history of mathematics, several of which have been translated.

  • Fauvel, John; Flood, Raymond; Wilson, Robin (2003). Music and Mathematics: From Pythagoras to Fractals. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-929893-9. ISBN 0-19-851187-6.
  • Fauvel, John; Flood, Raymond; Wilson, Robin (2000). Oxford Figures: 800 Years of the Mathematical Sciences. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-852309-2.
  • Fauvel, John; Flood, Raymond; Shortland, Michael; Wilson, Robin, eds. (1988). Let Newton be!. Oxford University Press.
  • Fauvel, John; Flood, Raymond; Wilson, Robin, eds. (1993). Möbius and his band: Mathematics and astronomy in nineteenth-century Germany. Oxford University Press.
  • With Jeremy Gray: The history of mathematics: A reader. Macmillan, 1987, ISBN 0333427912
  • Mathematics through history – a source book. Livres QED.
  • With Bengt Johansson, Frank Swetz, Otto Bekken, and Victor J. Katz: Learn from the Masters. MAA, 1994.
  • Fauvel, John (December 1992). "Remembering Charles Babbage (1791–1871)". Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 17 (4): 304–308. doi:10.1179/ISR.1992.17.4.304.

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