Karine Chemla

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Karina Chemla between Antoni Malet and Eberhard Knobloch, at Oberwolfach, 2009 Malet Chemla Knobloch.jpg
Karina Chemla between Antoni Malet and Eberhard Knobloch, at Oberwolfach, 2009

Karine Chemla (born in Tunis February 8, 1957) is a French historian of mathematics and sinologist who works as a director of research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). [1] She is also a senior fellow at the New York University Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. [2] She was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.



Chemla studied at Paris Diderot University and the École normale supérieure de jeunes filles, earning an agrégation in mathematics in 1978 and a diploma of advanced studies in 1979. [3] At this time, her work was in pure mathematics. However, in 1980, influenced by the work of Ilya Prigogine, she won a Singer–Polignac scholarship to travel to China and study the history of Chinese mathematics. [4] Returning to France, she earned her Ph.D. in the history of mathematics from Paris 13 University in 1982, and began working for CNRS at that time. [3]


Chemla's research interests include Chinese mathematics, 19th century French geometry, and the theory of the history of mathematics. [1]

With Guo Shuchun, Kemla published in 2004 a critical edition and translation into French of The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art . [4] [5] [6] [7]


Chemla was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1998. [8] [9] She became a member of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2004, [10] of the International Academy of the History of Science in 2005, [3] and of the Academia Europaea in 2013. [11] In 2013–2014 she was the holder of the Sarton Chair of History of Science at Ghent University. [12] She is the 2020 winner of the Otto Neugebauer Prize. [13]

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  1. 1 2 CHEMLA Karine, Lab. SPHERE (Sciences, Philosophy, History), CNRS, retrieved 2015-10-15.
  2. "Karine Chemla", Senior Fellows, NYU ISAW, 23 October 2012, retrieved 2015-10-15.
  3. 1 2 3 Curriculum vitae: Karine Chemla (PDF), Leopoldina, retrieved 2015-10-15.
  4. 1 2 De Mol, Liesbeth (2014), "Laudatio Karine Chemla", Sartoniana, 27: 9–12.
  5. Volkov, Alexei (2010), "Commentaries upon commentaries: The translation of the Jiu zhang suan shu 九章算術 by Karine Chemla and Guo Shuchun", Historia Mathematica , 37 (2): 281–301, doi:10.1016/j.hm.2009.07.010 .
  6. Miao, Tian (2006), "Reviewed Work: Les Neuf Chapitres. Le Classique mathématique de la Chine ancienne et ses commentaires by Karine Chemla, Shuchun Guo", Review, T'oung Pao , Second Series, 92 (4/5): 511–513, JSTOR   4529052 .
  7. Raphals, Lisa (2007), "Reviewed Work: Les neuf chapitres: Le classique mathématique de la Chine ancienne et ses commentaires by Karine Chemla, Guo Shuchun, Geoffrey Lloyd", Review, Isis , 98 (1): 175–176, doi:10.1086/519096 .
  8. ICM Plenary and Invited Speakers since 1897, International Mathematical Union , retrieved 2015-10-01.
  9. Chemla, Karine (1998). "History of Mathematics: A Factor in World History and a Source for New Questions". Doc. Math. (Bielefeld) Extra Vol. ICM Berlin, 1998, vol. III. pp. 789–798.
  10. "Prof. Dr. Karine Chemla", List of Members, Leopoldina, retrieved 2015-10-15.
  11. Member profile: Karine Chemla, Academia Europaea, retrieved 2015-10-15.
  12. Sarton Chair of History of Science: Past chair holders, Ghent University, retrieved 2015-10-15.
  13. Prize Winners Announced, European Mathematical Society, 8 May 2020