Mathematics is one of the many subjects studied in the college’s interdisciplinary great books curriculum. There are no majors at St. John’s. Instead, students explore all these subjects over the course of all four years. Learn more about St. John’s classes.
What is the relation between geometry and arithmetic? How can we model the motion of the heavenly bodies? What roles do diagrams and imagination play in a demonstrative proof? What is the structure of good reasoning? Can there be mathematics of the infinite and the infinitesimal? Are there multiple geometries? Students study original and influential works of mathematics, demonstrating hundreds of theorems to one another in class, and inquiring into the foundations of geometry, mathematical physics, logic, number theory, set theory, algebra, analysis, multi-variable calculus, differential equations, and astronomy.
Nicolaus Copernicus On the Revolutions of the Spheres
Richard Dedekind Essays on the Theory of Numbers
René Descartes Geometry, Rules for the Direction of the Mind
Leonhard Euler Essays
Leibniz A New Method for Maxima and Minima, On Recondite Geometry
Nikolai Lobachevsky Theory of Parallels
Isaac Newton Principia
Blaise Pascal Generation of Conic Sections
François Viète Introduction to the Analytical Art
René Descartes Rules for the Direction of the Mind and Optics, Scientific Revolution
Gottlob Frege The Foundations of Arithmetic
Jacob Klein Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra
Ernst Mach The Science of Mechanics
C. S. Peirce Selected papers
Bertrand Russell An Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
Alan Turing On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungs Problem
Action in Classical and Modern Physics, from Leibniz to Feynman
Computation: Feynman, Leibniz, Lovelace, Turing, Peirce, and Searle
The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra
Meter and Form in English Poetry
Readings in the Origins of Algebra
Coding: It's Not Greek!
The information presented is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect the current reading list and preceptorial and study group offerings. Works listed are studied at one or both campuses, although not always in their entirety.