On October 17, Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso, TX welcomed Dr. Snezana Lawrence, who gave a presentation on Gersonides, the history of mathematics, and the discipline’s connection to (or disconnection from) spirituality. Dr. Lawrence is a mathematical historian focusing on creativity, identity and engagement in the learning of mathematics. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Design Engineering at Middlesex University London and is involved in various national and international initiatives to promote the use of the history of mathematics in mathematics education.

She is also the chair of the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics International Group, which is an affiliate of the International Mathematics Union, for 2020 through 2024, and is a Diversity Champion of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications in the UK. Dr. Lawrence was the co-editor with Mark McCartney of the book Mathematicians and Their Gods, and recently published a book titled A New Year’s Present from a Mathematician with Chapman and Hall.

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(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. “Gersonides and The Limits of Knowledge with Snezana Lawrence,” a talk given at Temple Mount Sinai on October 17, 2021, was the fifth in the series Higher Meanings: Connecting Religion and Mathematics. The next and final event in this series, “Will Computers Make Religion Obsolete?,” featuring Dr. David Novick and Rabbi Ben Zeidman, will be on December 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm MT / 8:30 pm ET).