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  1. Study at the OU
  2. Research degrees
  3. Research areas
  4. Mathematics
  5. History of mathematics

History of mathematics

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An image to illustrate studying history of mathematics with The Open University

The History of Mathematics Group conducts internationally recognised work in several areas of the history of modern mathematics, and collaborates with many historians of mathematics in Europe. A long-running interest in celestial mechanics has recently led to an investigation of the network of astronomers in the years around 1900, and an overlapping international project on the role of mathematics and mathematicians in the First World War. Another project concerns the work of G.D. Birkhoff and the development of topological dynamics.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • History of celestial mechanics in the nineteenth century
  • History of dynamical systems
  • History of British mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Current / recent research projects

  • Forest Ray Moulton’s Periodic Orbits and his quest for a new Lunar Theory
  • Selected correspondence of Leonhard Euler

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Mathematics and Statistics Research Secretary
+44 (0)1908 655552

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.