Short CV/Education and training

Other positions

  • 2010
    Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (New York University)

  • 2010
    Professor on a Guest Chair at Jiaotong University, Shanghai

  • 2010 – 2013
    Professor on a Guest Chair at Hebei Normal University

  • 2009 – 2013
    Participation in the ANR Project “History of Numerical Tables,” head: D. Tournès

  • 2005
    Professor on a Guest Chair at Northwest University, Xi’an

Curriculum vitae

  • 2019
    Senior researcher, exceptional class, 2nd level

  • 2017 – 2019
    Senior researcher, exceptional class, 1st level

  • 2005
    -2017 Directrice de recherche première classe (Director of research) at the CNRS

  • 2001 – 2008
    Director of the research group REHSEIS

  • 1999 – 2000
    Vice-Director of the research group REHSEIS

  • 1997 – 2005
    Directrice de recherche seconde classe (Director of research) at the CNRS

  • 1994 – 1995
    Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin). Elected Sprecherin of the Fellows

  • 1986
    Chargée de recherche première classe (Research fellow) at the CNRS

  • 1982
    PhD in Mathematics, University of Paris XIII

  • 1981 – 1982
    Fifth year in the ENSJF

  • 1980 – 1981
    Scholarship of the Foundation Singer-Polignac on a project to go to China in order to study the relationships between mathematics and culture (Travel Scholarship granted every two years to four students graduating from French Grandes Ecoles)

  • 1979
    Master of Advanced Studies in Mathematics, Field: "Ergodic Theory", University of Paris VII

  • 1978
    Agrégation de mathématiques (Venia legendi)

  • 1977
    Maîtrise de mathématiques (Masters degree in Mathematics), University of Paris VII

  • 1976
    Admission to the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Jeunes Filles (ENSJF, Rank: first)

  • 1973
    Baccalauréat (High school diploma, citation: very good)

Selected publications

  • C. Michel and K. Chemla (eds.), Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds, Springer, 2020.

  • K. Chemla (ed.), Special issue Explorations on the History of Recreational mathematics, Historia mathematica, 41, 4, 2014, p. 367-517.

  • K. Chemla and J. Virbel (eds.), Texts, Textual Acts and the History of Science, Book Series “Archimedes”, Springer, 2015.

  • K. Chemla, R. Chorlay and D. Rabouin (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Generality in Mathematics and the Sciences, Oxford University Press, 2016.

  • K. Chemla and Evelyn Fox Keller (eds.), Cultures without culturalism: The making of scientific knowledge, Duke University Press, April 2017.

  • K. Chemla (ed.), Two special issues of East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine, 43 & 44 (2016) titled Numerical Tables and Tabular Layouts in Chinese scholarly documents (I & II) (vol. I (March 2017), vol. II (April 2017).

  • Chemla, K. (ed.), The history of mathematical proof in the ancient traditions, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

  • Chemla, K. & Guo Shuchun, Les Neuf Chapitres, Dunod, 2004.

  • Chemla, K., Ekeland, I. (eds.): Mathématiques à venir. Quels mathématiciens pour l'an 2000? Dunod, 1988. Supplementary volume in 1987 of the Bulletin de la Société Mathématique de France.

  • Chemla, K. (ed.): Démarches mathématiques. Encyclopédie Philosophique Universelle. Presses Universitaires de France, 1989. S. 987-1106.

  • Chemla, K., Volkov, A., Lichtmann, V. (eds.): Modèles et structures des textes chinois anciens. Extrême-Orient, Extrême Occident 13, 1991.

  • Chemla, K., Benoit, P., Ritter, J. (eds.): Histoire de fractions, fractions d'histoire. Collection "Science Networks" 10, Birkhäuser 1992.

  • Chemla, K., Dahan, A., Chabert, J.-L. (eds.): Chaos et déterminisme. Points Sciences, Le Seuil 1992.

  • Chemla, K. (ed.): Regards obliques sur l'argumentation en Chine. Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 14, 1992.

  • Chemla, K., Martin, F. (eds.): Le juste nom. Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 15, 1993.

  • Chemla, K., Martin, F., Pigeot, J. (eds.): Le travail de la citation en Chine et au Japon. Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 17, 1995.

  • Chemla, K., Lackner, M. (eds.): Disposer pour dire, placer pour penser, situer pour agir. Pratiques de la position en Chine. Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 18, 1996.

  • Chemla, K. et al. (eds.): Ceci n'est pas un festschrift pour Imre Toth, 29. 12. 1996. Available at

  • Chemla, K. (ed.): La valeur de l'exemple. Perspectives chinoises. Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 19, 1997.

  • Chemla, K., Kalinowski, M., Harper, D. (eds.): Divination et rationalité en Chine ancienne. Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 21, 1999.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Advanced Research Grant, 5 years, Project “Mathematical Sciences in the Ancient World (SAW)” (co-directors of the project: Agathe Keller (CNRS) and Christine Proust (CNRS)), 2011 – 2016

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the Board of the Conseil d'Orientation Scientifique et Pédagogique (COSP) of the group of Universities PRES "Sorbonne Paris Cité", since 2010

  • Assistant Secretary General of the Council of the Division of History of Science and Technology, since 2009

  • Elected Member of the Administration Council of the University Paris Diderot, in 2008

  • Editor responsible for mathematical terms in the international project led by C. Harbsmeier, Thesaurus Linguae Sericae (TLS), since 2003

  • Director of the French Nation-wide Interdisciplinary Program CNRS-Ministry of Research "History of knowledge", 2003 – 2007

  • Head of the International Project of Advanced Study "History and historiography of mathematical proof in ancient traditions", Columbia University-MSH-REHSEIS, March – June 2002

  • Member of the International Commission of Science and Cultural Diversity (IASCUD) of the Division of History and Philosophy of Science, since 2001. Elected vice-president of the Bureau, since 2005: General secretary

  • Director of the research group REHSEIS, CNRS & University Paris Diderot, 2001 – 2008

  • Member of the French National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science (attached to the Académie des Sciences), since 1999. 2011: Elected President.

  • Member of the scientific council of the Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises – Collège de France, since 1997

  • Member of the International Commission for the History of Mathematics, representing France, since 1992

Media coverage

  • Interview with Pétronille Danchin, Institut National des Sciences Mathématiques et de leurs Interactions, CNRS, 2020

  • Interview in French for the online journal Circé. Questions prepared by Pierre Chaigneau et al. Film produced by: Manon Chaigneau. Edited by: Nicolas Boileau. Link to the Video, 2016

  • After the plenary lecture at the 7th European Congress of Mathematics, Interview for Paperhive, 25 juillet 2016

  • Co-organization, with Pascale Cossart, Claude Debru, Etienne Ghys, Jean-Pierre Kahane, then Antoine Danchin, of the “5 to 7 of the History and Philosophy of Science at the Academy of Science” (2014). First session on Gnomons and sundials. Session on December 3, 2019: "L’apport du monde arabe à la science"

  • Lecture at the Agora des Savoirs, “Quoi de neuf dans les mathématiques de la Chine ancienne ?”, Montpellier, April 2016

  • Participation in a round table in Homage to the specialist of the history of Arabic mathematics and sciences Roshdi Rashed, Institute of the Arabic World, May 30, 2018. The talks are online

  • (Invited lecture) “Mathématiques anciennes à l’échelle de la planète”, Opening Ceremony for the 2019 – 2020 Year of Mathematics, in the context of the Eightieth Anniversary of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Ministry of Education & CNRS, Large Amphitheater in the Sorbonne, October 2, 2019.

    Link to the Programme, Video of the lecture

Additional qualifications

  • Member of the Editorial Committee of the series "Logic, Argumentation and Reasoning. Perspectives from the Humanities and the Social Sciences", Link to the Series, Springer, since 2019

  • Member of the Editorial review board of the series "Global Epistemics", since 2019

  • Member of the Editorial Committee of the series "Logic, Epistemology and the Unity of Science", Link to the Series, Springer, since 2019

  • Member of the Editorial board of the journal HOPOS, the official journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, since 2018

  • Associated editor of the journal Sciamvs, which publishes mostly critical editions of mathematical documents, since 2018

  • Member of the Editorial Committee of the journal Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, since 2018

  • Member of the editorial board of the book series "Documents Mathématiques", published by the SMF, since 2017

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Transversal (International Journal for the Historiography of Science), see: Link, since 2016

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal Studies on the History of Mathematics, Chine (Chief editor: Guo Shirong), since 2016

  • Chief Editor, with Agathe Keller and Christine Proust, of the series "Why The Sciences of the Ancient World Matter" (Link to the website), Springer, since 2016

  • Member of the Scientific Board of the series "Book Series on Chinese Science and Technology Sources (中国科技典籍选刊)", since 2015

  • Associated editor of the book series “Frontiers in History of Science”, Birkhäuser (Springer), 2015

  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the journal Studia Historiae Scientiarum (Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci), since 2014

  • Member of the Board of Associate Editors for History of Humanities, since 2014

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Computability– The Journal of the Association Computability in Europe , 2011

  • Member of the Review Committee for Chinese Studies, since 2011

  • Director of the series "Histoire des savoirs", as a follow-up of the joint project under the same name , Editions Omnisciences, since 2008

  • Member of the Editorial board of Ziran kexueshi yanjiu (Research in history of natural sciences), since 2010

  • Member of the Editorial board of the website "Images des mathématiques", CNRS, for a section on history of mathematics, since 2008

  • Member of the advisory board of the NTM, a journal on the history of science, technology and medicine, since 2007

  • Member of the International editorial board of EASTS (East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an international journal), since 2007

  • Member of the International editorial board of Zhongguo keji shi zazhi (Journal for the history of science and technology in China), Academia Sinica, Beijing, since 2007

  • Member of the editorial board Ganita Bharati, since 2006

  • Member of the editorial board of the Revue d'histoire des mathématiques, Société Mathématique de France, since its creation (1994). Co-chief editor, 1998 – 2001. Member of the editorial board, 2001 – 2004. Member of the reading committee, since 2004

  • Member of the editorial committee for mathematics in the Encyclopedia Britannica, responsible for China, pre-Modern India and Japan, 2000 – 2002

  • Member of the International advisory board of the Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine, since 1999

  • Scientific advisor of the Encyclopedia Universalis for their corpus on mathematics, 1997 – 1999

  • Editor of the section on the history of science in China in the Storia della scienza, prepared by the Enciclopedia Italiana, in collaboration with the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences. Co-editors: Francesca Bray, Fu Daiwie, Huang Yi-Long and Georges Métailié. The section appeared in 2001 in Vol. II. A selection of papers were published by the sinological journal in Chinese Faguo hanxue (French Sinology) 6, 2002, since 1996

  • Member of the editorial board of the series in history of science "Science Networks", Chief editors: Hans Wussing and Erwin Hiebert, Birkhäuser, Basel (1995-2000), Eberhard Knobloch and Erhard Scholz, Birkhäuser (since 2000), since 1995

  • Member of the editorial board of the Newsletter for the History of Chinese Science, Taiwan, 1993 – 2001

  • Chief editor, with F. Martin (EPHE) of the journal for Far Eastern Studies Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident, Presses Universitaires de Vincennes (1992-2005). Member of the Editorial Board, since 2005

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • Training of secondary school teachers for the history of mathematics « L'histoire des nombres : Déraciner quelques préjugés et repenser le potentiel pédagogique de la diversité des écritures numériques », Secondary School Rosa Luxembourg, Université de Perpignan, 30 September – 1st October 2021

  • Lectures on the history of mathematics in China for secondary schools: Paul Eluard, Saint Denis, 1988. Fernay International Secondary School, Geneva, Switzerland, 1990. Marie Curie, Sceaux, 1994. Jacquart, Paris, Camille Guérin, Poitiers, 2007. Flora Tristan, Noisy le Grand, 1988, 1996, 2008, 2010, 2017. Henri Wallon, Aubervilliers, 2011. Louis Le Grand, 2011, 2012. Is sur Tille, Côte d’Or, 2014. Lecture for pupils in Aarhus, Denmark, 1990. Science Festical, October 2013. Janson de Sailly, June 1, 2018


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