## Abstract

Björn Gunnlaugsson (1788–1876) was a remarkable product of the Enlightenment movement in

Iceland. He was never admitted to a school, but learnt mathematics by himself and from his tenant-farmer father before he entered the University of Copenhagen, where he twice won its gold medal. He taught mathematics for forty years and made valuable geodetic measurements as a basis of a map of Iceland. He wrote about various astronomical topics, and published his first book on mathematics at the age of 77. The book, which is the main subject of this paper, reveals his devotion and genuine knowledge of mathematics, and his philosophical and religious attitude towards mathematical concepts, structure and conventions. In order to clarify his way of thought, several topics will be explored: zero and infinity, divisibility, exponential laws and imaginary numbers.

Iceland. He was never admitted to a school, but learnt mathematics by himself and from his tenant-farmer father before he entered the University of Copenhagen, where he twice won its gold medal. He taught mathematics for forty years and made valuable geodetic measurements as a basis of a map of Iceland. He wrote about various astronomical topics, and published his first book on mathematics at the age of 77. The book, which is the main subject of this paper, reveals his devotion and genuine knowledge of mathematics, and his philosophical and religious attitude towards mathematical concepts, structure and conventions. In order to clarify his way of thought, several topics will be explored: zero and infinity, divisibility, exponential laws and imaginary numbers.

Translated title of the contribution | Björn Gunnlaugsson - Líf og starf: Upplýsingin og trúarleg heimspeki í íslenskri stærðfræðimenntun 19. aldar |
---|---|

Original language | English |

Title of host publication | "Dig where you stand" |

Subtitle of host publication | Proceedings of a Conference on On-going Research in the History of Mathematics Education |

Editors | Kristín Bjarnadóttir, Fulvia Furinghetti, Gert Schubring |

Place of Publication | Reykjavík |

Publisher | Háskóli Íslands - Menntavísindasvið |

Pages | 17 - 29 |

Number of pages | 13 |

ISBN (Print) | 978-9979-793-99-1 |

Publication status | Published - 2009 |

Event | A Conference on On-going Research in the History of Mathematics Education - Fjölbrautaskólinn í Garðabæ, Garðabær, Iceland Duration: 20 Jun 2024 → 24 Jun 2024 |

### Publication series

Name | "Dig Where You Stand" |
---|---|

Volume | 1 |

### Conference

Conference | A Conference on On-going Research in the History of Mathematics Education |
---|---|

Country/Territory | Iceland |

City | Garðabær |

Period | 20/06/24 → 24/06/24 |