Book Prize for Manuscript on the History of Mathematical Symbols
No 098/2018 from May 16, 2018
Dr. h. c. Raúl Rojas, a professor of artificial intelligence at Freie Universität Berlin, was honored in Mexico with a prestigious book prize for his unpublished manuscript on the history of mathematical symbols. Rojas won the 4th International Prize for Science Education Ruy Perez Tamayo, which is awarded by the largest publisher in Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE). His book manuscript "El Lenguaje de las Matemáticas: Historias de sus Símbolos" (The Language of Mathematics: Stories of Its Symbols) will now be published by FCE and as of November, it will be on the market in all the Latin American countries and Spain. The Book Prize for Science Education is awarded every two years. Writers from 11 countries had submitted a total of 38 works. The book project by Rojas was unanimously declared the winner. The publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica will present the book in November at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico and invited Rojas to a lecture tour of the country at that time.
"The book is the result of 20 years of work on the subject," said Professor Rojas, when the award was announced. "In 1998 I held the first seminar on this subject at Freie Universität Berlin. The book is intended to encourage students to get to know the historical roots of mathematics. Behind every mathematical symbol there is a fascinating story that in some cases goes back almost 23 centuries," he said, continuing, "During my research semester at Princeton in 2014, I prepared almost a complete manuscript." After publication of the book in Spanish, Rojas plans to have an English translation prepared for a publisher in the U.S., and after that a German translation and publication.
Raúl Rojas González, who was born in 1955 in Mexico City, studied mathematics and physics in Mexico and economics and social sciences at Freie Universität Berlin. He is still extremely interested in mathematics. In 1993 he completed the habilitation process in the field of computer science in the area of artificial neural networks. Since 1997 he has been a professor at Freie Universität, specializing in artificial intelligence and robotics. He has received numerous awards, including the Professor of the Year 2014 from the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers. Rojas is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and a winner of the Mexican National Prize for Arts and Sciences.