I am a historian of science and intellectual historian of early modern Europe, with a focus on the exact sciences, humanism, and their interrelationship. I earned my PhD in history from Columbia University in November 2018.
I am currently working on a book manuscript, The Myth of Greek Algebra: Method, Erudition, and the Politics of Progress in Early Modern Mathematics, which uses the history of early modern efforts to reconstruct ancient analysis to illuminate the origin of progress as a goal of mathematical work. The book is based on my dissertation, called The Myth of Greek Algebra: Progress and Community in Early Modern Mathematics, which won the Clough Prize for best dissertation in European history from Columbia University (AY 2018-19). My 2018 article for Notes and Records introduces some elements of this history, including the relationship between invention and presentation in early modern algebra. I spoke about another aspect of this history at Stephen Clucas' EMPHASIS seminar in December 2021.
My time at the Society of Fellows has enabled me to develop a second project, focusing on adverse possession of the classical canon by early modern innovators. Using language employed by early modern actors, I call it "Occupy the Canon." "Descartes at School: His Rules as a Jesuit Study Manual" (Renaissance Quarterly, March 2022) reads Descartes' "Rules for the Direction of the Mind" (long read as a pioneering treatise in scientific method) as a satirical Jesuit study manual. "Occupy the Commonplaces: Machiavelli and the Aristotelian Tradition of the Topics" (Journal of the History of Ideas, forthcoming) shows how Machiavelli used topical dialectic to occupy and transform Aristotelian commonplaces and make them suitable to his style of political reasoning.
Departing from my Renaissance Quarterly article, I am developing a new approach to the reading of Descartes based on close attention to his humanist style. In particular, I have been working, together with Julia Tomasson and Alex Garnick, on a new interpretation of the Meditations. This project will issue in a series of articles and, possibly, a new translation of the text.
My writing has been described as being "generally readable at various levels of expertise, quoad capacitatem lectoris." I co-wrote a children's book about Isaac Newton's trip to the moon. Published originally by Les Petits Platons, it has since been translated into English and German.
Admittedly, the rest was not perfected...