Dr. Michael Friedman

History and Philosophy of Science Inst.
מכון להסטוריה ופילוסופיה של המדעים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Michael Friedman
Office: Gilman-humanities, 357ג

General Information

Michael Friedman is a historian of mathematics and a Senior Lecturer at the Cohn Institute. Before joining the Cohn Institute he held post doc positions at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Institute Fourier in Grenoble and Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn. He is currently working on the diverse traditions of mathematics of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. In this context, he looks into the material practices of mathematics (folding, weaving, braiding, knotting, as well as 3D models) and how symbolical-mathematical knowledge was prompted by them. Another focus of his research are the various scientific instruments, used to visualize, and at the same time to enable mathematical knowledge. He  also researches how continental philosophy deals with mathematics in the 20th and the 21st centuries. 


History of mathematics between of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries; Mathematical and material practices (folding, weaving, braiding, knotting, etc); artisanal knowledge; continental philosophy and mathematics.



Ramified Surfaces: On Branch Curves and Algebraic Geometry in the 20th Century,within the book series: Frontiers in the History of Science, Basel: Birkhäuser (2022).


Grenzen der Formalisierung. Von Leibniz bis Lacan (with: Seppi, Angelika), ilinx.Kollaborationen , Leipzig: Spector Books (2021).


A History of Folding in Mathematics: Mathematizing the Margins, within the book series: Science Networks. Historical Studies, Basel: Birkhäuser (2018).


Edited volumes


Model and Mathematics, ed. by: Friedman, Michael; Krauthausen, Karin, Basel: Birkhäuser (2022).


Active Materials, ed. by Fratzl, Peter; Friedman, Michael; Krauthausen, Karin; Schäffner, Wolfgang, Berlin: de Gruyter (2021).


Martin Heidegger: Die Falte der Sprache, ed. by Friedman, Michael; Seppi, Angelika, Wien: Turia + Kant (2017).


On Folding: Towards a new field of interdisciplinary research, ed. by Friedman, Michael; Schäffner, Wolfgang, Bielefeld: transcript (2016).


Psychoanalysis: Topological Perspectives, ed. by Friedman, Michael; Tomšič, Samo, Bielefeld: transcript (2016).


Conceptualizing Screen Practices – How Head-Mounted Displays Transform Action and Perception, ed. by Friedman, Michael; Friedrich, Kathrin; Stein, Christian; Queisner, Moritz, Special Issue for MediaTropes (2016).


Articles (selection)


Joachim Jungius and the Transfer of Knowledge from Weaving to Mathematics in the 17th Century, Cahiers François Viète III-13, 2022, p. 43-82.


On fluidity of the textual transmission in Abraham bar Hiyya’s Ḥibbur ha-Meshiḥah ve-ha-Tishboret (with: Garber, David). Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 2022, published online: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00407-022-00297-4


How to Grasp an Abstraction: Mathematical Models and Their Vicissitudes Between 1850 and 1950. Introduction (with: Krauthausen, Karin). In: Friedman, Michael/ Krauthausen, Karin (eds.), Model and Mathematics: From the 19th to the 21st Century. Cham: Birkhäuser, 2022, p. 1-49.


Sempers Hütte und die Grenzen der Mathematik, in: Krauthausen, Karin / Ladewig, Rebekka (ed.), Modell Hütte, Berlin/Zürich: diaphanes, 2021, p. 385-410.


Paper, Plaster, Strings: Exploratory Material Mathematical Models between the 1860s and 1930s. Perspectives on Science 2021; 29 (4), p. 436-467.


On Mascheroni's La geometria del compasso at the beginning of the 19th century, Historia Mathematica, 2021 published online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hm.2021.05.002.


How to notate a crossing of strings? On Modesto Dedò’s notation of braids, Archive for History of Exact Sciences (2020), p. 281-312.


A plurality of (non-)visualizations: Branch points and branch curves at the turn of the 19th century, in: Revue d’histoire des mathématiques 25 (1), 2019, p. 109–194.


Mathematical Formalization and Diagrammatic Reasoning: The Case Study of the Braid Group between 1925 and 1950, British Journal for the History of Mathematics 34, 2019, p. 34–59.


A Failed Encounter in Mathematics and Chemistry: The Folded Models of van ‘t Hoff and Sachse, in: Theory of Science, vol. 38 (3), 2017, p. 359-386.


Conferences (selection)


Paper(s) as epistemic carrier of knowledge. A history of provoking thought and memory, 22-23.2.2023 (with: Zetti, Daniela), Munich, Deutsches Museum Munich


Materials Matter (Audio Broadcast of the first day), 4-5.5.2022 (with: Krauthausen, Karin), Berlin: excellence cluster Image Knowledge Gestaltung. Ein Interdisziplinäres Labor 


On Activity II: Space and Materiality, 19.3.2021 (zoom conference. With: Tomšič, Samo), Berlin: excellence cluster Matters of Activity. Image Space Material 


Past and Present in Mathematical Weaving, 25.9.2020 (zoom conference), Berlin: excellence cluster Matters of Activity. Image Space Material 


On Activity, 7.2.2020 (with: Krauthausen, Karin), Berlin: excellence cluster Matters of Activity. Image Space Material 

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