# Michael Sean Mahoney

**Michael Sean Mahoney** (June 30, 1939 – July 23, 2008) was a historian of science.

Mahoney was born in New York City, and did his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, graduating in 1960. He earned a Ph.D. in history and history of science from Princeton University in 1967, and immediately took a position as an assistant professor there. He remained at Princeton for over 40 years, until his death in 2008.^{[1]}^{[2]}^{[3]}

A conference on the history of science and technology was held in his honor at Princeton in May 2009.^{[4]}

## Fermat biography[edit]

Mahoney's biography of Pierre de Fermat received much critical attention^{[5]}^{[6]}^{[7]} including a scathing review by André Weil in 1973.^{[8]}^{[9]}^{[10]} A second edition of Mahoney's book came out in 1994.

## Selected publications[edit]

- Mahoney, Michael Sean, The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1973. xviii+419 pp.
- Mahoney, Michael Sean, The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601–1665. Second edition. Princeton Paperbacks. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1994. xxii+432 pp. ISBN 0-691-03666-7
- Mahoney, Michael S., Barrow's mathematics: between ancients and moderns. Before Newton, 179–249, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1990.
- Mahoney, Michael S., Die Anfänge der algebraischen Denkweise im 17. Jahrhundert. (German) RETE 1 (1971/72), no. 1, 15–31.

## References[edit]

**^**Stevens, Ruth (July 25, 2008), "Michael S. Mahoney, historian of science and devoted faculty member, dies",*News at Princeton*, Princeton University.**^**Buchwald, Jed Z.; Burnett, D. Graham (2009), "Michael S. Mahoney, 1939–2008" (PDF),*Isis*,**100**: 623–626, doi:10.1086/649137.**^**William Aspray, "Michael Sean Mahoney (1939-2008)", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.36, no. 3, pp. 70-79, July-Sept. 2014, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2014.41**^**Gordin, Michael D.; Byrne, James (2009),*The Historical Career of Michael Sean Mahoney*(PDF), Princeton Program in History of Science.**^**Gabbey, Alan (1975), "*The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665)*by Michael Sean Mahoney",*The British Journal for the History of Science*,**8**(1): 81–84, doi:10.1017/s0007087400013819, JSTOR 4025827.**^**Gridgeman, N. T. (1976), "*The Mathematical Praeface to the Elements of Geometrie of Euclid to Megara (1570)*by John Dee;*The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665)*by Michael Sean Mahoney",*The American Historical Review*,**81**(4): 840–841, doi:10.2307/1864830, JSTOR 1864830.**^**Ouwendijk, George (1997), "*The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601-1665*. by Michael Sean Mahoney",*Renaissance Quarterly*,**50**(1): 334–335, doi:10.2307/3039384, JSTOR 3039384.**^**Koblitz, Neal (2008),*Random Curves: Journeys of a Mathematician*, Springer, p. 92, ISBN 9783540740773.**^**Landsburg, Steven E.,*Andre Weil*, retrieved 2013-02-20.**^**Weil, A. (1973), "Review: M. S. Mahoney,*The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat*",*Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society*,**79**(6): 1138–1149, doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1973-13354-3, MR 1566693.

## External links[edit]

- Michael S. Mahoney papers. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. 38 boxes of Mahoney's books and serials related to the history of computing, mathematics, and related fields; and 17 boxes of Mahoney's archival materials, including course work, subject files, and publication drafts.