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MA 410: History of Mathematics: Biographical Information

Finding Books

You can also find biographies of particular mathematicians by doing keyword searches on their names in SOUTHcat, the University Libraries' catalog at

Anatomy of a Citation in May's Bibliography

You can find citations for articles and books that include biographical information on your mathematician in:

May, Kenneth O.(1973)
Bibliography and research manual of the history of mathematics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Call Number:
Univ. Library Reference Z 6651 .M38 (2nd Floor North) and Marx Library Bookstacks Z 6651 .M38 (this book is currently temporarily shelved at Circulation Desk on the First Floor North; it is on 2 Hour Reserve).

Sample citation for an article in the Biography section of May:


Alimov, N G 1955 Ist M Isl 8, 573-619 (MR17, 1; Z68, 3)
[quantity, proportion]

  1. The underlined name is the name of the mathematician the article is about.
  2. Alimov, N G is the author of the article
  3. 1955 is the year this article was published
  4. Ist M Isl is the abbreviation for the journal the article is in; in this case it's Istoriko-matematicheskie issledovaniya. The list of serials abbreviations and what they stand for starts on page 709.
  5. The number after Ist M Isl is the volume number of the journal in which the article appears.
  6. 573-619 are the page numbers where you'll find the article
  7. MR 17, 1 stands for Mathematical Reviews volume 17, page 1 (for Reviews published after 1958, this number is instead the review number instead of the page number.)
  8. Z68 stands for Zentralblatt volume 68, page 3
  9. The words in brackets are keywords May has used to describe what the article is about.


Articles, Indexes and Electronic Books

Web Sites

Searching Google or another search engine using a particular mathematician's name, for example: Hypatia, Euler or Ramanujan, will help you find web sites with biographical information specific to that person. Here are some general biographical web sites for mathematicians.