Dr. Snezana Lawrence


You have probably come here through my mathsisgoodforyou website. In case you haven't, go see it


The mathsisgoodforyou website is dedicated to the production of materials in the history of mathematics for young mathematicians and their teachers. It grew out of the Gatsby Fellowship I held during 2004/5 and the award they gave me again in 2006/7.


If you'd like to get involved with the development of resources and/or discuss the existing resources in the history of mathematics, visit the NCETM History of Mathematics Community (but you need to register with the NCETM first).

To learn more about the history of mathematics you may want to join the British Society for the History of Mathematics.

If you use the dynamic geometry software such as Geometer's Sketchpad or the Cabri Geometry 3, and would like to link this with the history of maths, get in touch. I offer training for teachers in the South East of England.



A chapter "Alternative ways of teaching space - a French geometrical technique in nineteenth century Britain" to be published in Franco-British interactions in science, College Publications, London (early 2009).

Collaborative research project leading to a publication with M-J. Richard (University of Paris 5), A. Moktefi (University of Strasbourg), and J. Petrunic (University of Edinburgh), on "New Geometries - Mathematics Education in Britain in the 19th century".


  • A chapter in The Handbook on the History of Mathematics commissioned by the Oxford University Press, "A Balkan Trilogy", on the history of mathematics in the Balkans before the WWI, on Ottoman, Greek, and Serbian mathematics, to be published November 2008.
  • Paper on Mihailo Petrovic, the most famous Serbian mathematician, on the site marking the first century of ICMI (International Commission on Mathematics Instruction) http://www.icmihistory.unito.it/portrait/petrovic.php
  • "Maths is Good for You - teaching mathematics in historical context", summary of the National Teacher Research Panel conference, held 14th March 2006, published by the DfES Innovations Unit, http://www.standards.gov.uk/innovation-unit. Downloadable from www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/ntrp.
  • "History of Mathematics Resources for 11 to 16 year olds" in Proceedings of the CSHPM and BSHM Joint Conference held in Cambridge 9-11th July 2004. Volume 17, publisher Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, 2005. pp. 128-132.
  • "Egyptian Fractions" - in Infinity, issue 1, April 2005.

As Editor of the Education Section, Bulletin of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, published by Taylor & Francis, and as such regular contributor to the BSHM Bulletin on educational matters (notices and reports of mathematics education events)

  • Report on the XXV International Congress of Mathematicians, Madrid 2006, in Bulletin Volume 22, issue 1, 01 2007, 51-59.
  • Maths is good for you: web-based history of mathematics resources for young mathematicians (and their teachers), in Bulletin Volume 21, Issue 2, 01 July 2006, 90-96.
  • An international project in history of mathematical astronomy, in Bulletin volume 21, Issue 2, 01 July 2006, 152-154.
  • Balkan Mathematics before the WWI in Bulletin No. 4, Spring 2005, pp. 22-36.
  • BCME-6: Routes of Unity 31, in Bulletin No. 5, Summer 2005, pp. 31-34.
  • Review on the MAA 'Modules for the Learning and Teaching of Mathematics' 2004, in Bulletin No. 5, Summer 2005, pp. 54-56.

Regular contributor to the HPM Newsletters - a publication of the International Study Group on the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics, an Affiliate of the International Commission on Mathematics Education. The Newsletters can be downloaded from http://www.clab.edc.uoc.gr/HPM/NewsLetters.htm

  • Newsletter No. 60 - Interview - Leo Rodgers, Historian and Pedagogue of Mathematics and the first editor of the HPM Newsletter, pp. 1-4
  • Newsletter No. 59 - "Serbian Mathematics Culture of the 19th century", in collaboration with Nikos Kostanis, pp. 15-24.
  • Newsletter No. 58
  • Notice on the Work in Progress - Mathematics Resources for 11-16 year olds, pp 2-3.
  • Notice on the thesis completion - Geometry of Architecture and Freemasonry in 19th century England, pp. 5-7.

"History of Descriptive Geometry in England" published in The Proceedings of the First International Congress on Construction History, Madrid, 2003. 14 pages; http://en.structurae.de/refs/items/index.cfm?ID=r0004552

"Entre Mécanique et Architecture--Between Mechanics and Architecture. Edited by Patricia Radelet-de-Grave and Edoardo Benvenuto" book review in Historia Mathematica, Volume 25, Number 2, May 1998, pp. 221-224(4).

Contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary on some terms used in describing geometrical transformations used by the architectural and engineering professions, October 1995.

Forthcoming, and/or recent and relevant presentations

  • Royal Society, London "Newton's Mathematical Alchemy", 6th October 2009.

  • University of Cambridge, Lead teacher, Prince's Teaching Institute Summer School in Mathematics, June 28th - July 1st 2009.

  • EHESS, Paris, 9th April 2009, "French mathematics in 18th century London - Huguenots and the first mathematical society".

  • CERME6, Lyon, 28 th January - 1 st February 2009. "What works in the classroom - history of mathematics and collaborative teaching practice".

  • MEI Annual Conference, 3rd July 2008, "Women in mathematics" University of Hertfordshire UK.

  • International Congress on Mathematical Education, Monterrey, Mexico, 6-12th July 2008 - representative of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, also presenting a paper "History of Mathematics Making its way through the teacher networks - Professional learning environment and the history of mathematics in mathematics curriculum" (to be published in the Congress Proceedings).

  • HPM (History and Pedagogy of Mathematics, part of ICMI) Mexico City 14-18th July 2008.

  • Société Française d’Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques — Congrès de Paris 2008, session "Histoire des sciences et des techniques et enseignement".

  • 20th November 2007, NCETM National Conference in Birmingham, talking about 'What works in the Classroom' - history of mathematics and the mathematics classroom.

  • 24th July 2007 - 5th   European Summer University on the History and Epistemology of Mathematics Education (ESU-5), Prague, "Alternative ways of teaching space - Geometry in 19th century England and France".

  • 28th July 2007 - 3rd Joint Conference of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics and the British Society for the History of Mathematics, Montreal, "History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education in UK".

  • 5th April 2007 - ATM Conference, University of Loughborough, "History of mathematics and the teaching of proof" workshop on the use of Dynamic Geometry Software GSP.

  • 28th August 2006 - XXV International Congress of Mathematicians, Madrid, "Descriptive Geometry in England".

  • 8th April 2006 - University of Loughborough - HIMEd meeting (History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education): "History of Mathematics to aid teaching of mathematics during the transition period between primary and secondary school".

  • 25th March 2006 - University of Oxford, History of Science, Medicine and Technology: International Symposium, Maison française, Franco-British interactions in science since the seventeenth century: "Descriptive geometry. History of a French geometrical technique in Britain".

  • 14th March 2006 - Birmingham NEC, National Teachers' Research Panel Conference (an initiative of the DfES): "Maths is Good for You: Teaching mathematics in historical context".

  • 25th February 2006 - University of Sheffield - Electrifying Experimentation, Science in 19th century England conference sponsored by the British Society for the History of Science: "Descriptive Geometry in England - Legitimising new Geometries in the 19th century".

  • 13th January 2006 - Epistemologie et Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques dans la Formation des Maîtres, Ateliers d'Echanges sur les Pratiques de Formation; IUFM de Versailles: "On the use of the History of Mathematics in Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools".

  • 6th November 2005 - École Normale Supérieure, Paris, 16th Novembertagung on the History of Mathematics: "Alternatives to Descriptive Geometry - teaching of geometry in 19th century England."

  • April 2005, University of Kragujevac, Serbia & Monte Negro: "Two traditions in the English Mathematics Education".

  • 10th December 2004, British Society for the History of Mathematics, at King Edward's School, Birmingham: "Balkan Mathematics before the WWI".

  • 11th July 2004, University of Cambridge. Joint meeting of the British Society for the History of Mathematics and the Canadian Society for the Philosophy and History of Mathematics: "KS3 and KS4 mathematics and the History of Mathematics".

What am I up to? Well generally speaking...

I am

  • Writing a paper on the history of Spitalfields Mathematical Society (founded in London in 1717)
  • Organising a conference on the history of mathematics for the Instiute of Mathematics and its Applications, which will be held at the LMS rooms, russell Square, London, 6th November 2009
  • Co-organising a conference on Numeracy, to be held at St. Anne's College, Oxford, 16-18th December 2009.

At present,

I work at Bath Spa University, Bath, England.

I am on the editorial board and the Editor of the Education Section, Bulletin of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, published by Taylor & Francis and on the Editorial Board of Mathematics Today, a general interest mathematics publication from the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications.

I also sit on the Council of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, and am currently working on widening the educational programme of the Society as its first Education Officer. As such I have recently created a website for the use of teachers who want to explore the possibilities of using the history of mathematics in their teaching. Click here to see it.

I am on the Advisory Board of the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics, an international group of historians and teachers of mathematics, part of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction.

I offer training for maths teachers in the South East of England on the use of Geometer's Sketchpad. A bit of the history of maths will be sneaked in... Email me if you are interested. Get the copy of the software from Chartwell-Yorke.


And now something completely different...

I've started a blog on the state of mathematics education plus everything that happens to me as I go about it at


Here are some of my favourite videos from YouTube

Fairy tale ending | What you know about math | Math love song | Too sick to pray