I will address the question “What do historians of mathematics do?” by turning to another: “What is algebra?” In answering this second question, and surveying the way that the answer changes as we move through the centuries, I will highlight some of the problems that face historians of mathematics when it comes to interpreting historical mathematics, and give a flavour of what it means to study the history of mathematics.

**Date**: 8 May 2017, 17:00 (Monday, 3rd week, Trinity 2017)**Venue**: Mathematical Institute

Woodstock Road OX2 6GGSee location on maps.ox**Details**: L3**Speaker**: Christopher Hollings (University of Oxford)**Organising department**: Mathematical Institute**Organiser**: Christopher Hollings (University of Oxford)**Organiser contact email address**: christopher.hollings@maths.ox.ac.uk**Host**: Christopher Hollings (University of Oxford)**Part of**: What do historians of mathematics do?**Topics**:**Booking required?**: Not required**Audience**: Public- Editor: Christopher Hollings