Byron Emerson Wall
Science & Technology Studies Program
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
and Division of Natural Science
Faculty of Science and Engineering, York University
Norman Bethune College and Winters College
Phone: 416-736-2100, ext 20559, Fax: 416-736-5892
Current Teaching Responsibilities:
For Summer 2011:
SC/NATS 1730 Scientific Change
Exposition and interpretation of science and its place in civilization.
The history of the application of mathematical models.
The history of mathematical logic and probability theory, especially John Venn.
The Price of Prosperity: Civilization in the Natural World, 2004.
Glimpses of Reality: Episodes in the History of Science, 2003.
The Nature of Science: Classical and Contemporary Readings, 1990 (editor)
Science in Society: Classical and Contemporary Readings, 1989 (editor)
“John Venn, James Ward, and
the Chair of Mental Philosophy and Logic at the
“John Venn’s Opposition to Probability as Degree of Belief,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A. 37 (2006): 550-561.
“Causation, randomness and pseudo-randomness in John Venn’s Logic of Chance,” History and Philosophy of Logic 26 (2005): 299-319.
Recent Conference Presentations:
“The Lure of the Fundamental Probability Set of Equally Likely Events” AMS Special Session on the History of Mathematics, Joint Meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, New Orleans, LA, January 7, 2011
“Pinning Down Outliers: 19th Century Stabs at Exact Probabilities for Rare Events” AMS Special Session on the History of Mathematics, Joint Meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, San Francisco, CA, January, 2010
“Some 19th century Arguments for the
Rational Assignment of Probabilities for Possible events in Nature” Joint
meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society and the Canadian Society for the
History & Philosophy of Mathematics,
“How John Venn’s attempt to refute historical determinism with probability theory fostered the development of applied statistics,”
Joint meeting of the British Society for the History of Science, the History of Science Society, and the Canadian Society for the History & Philosophy of Science, Keble College, Oxford University, July 5, 2008
Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, M.A., 1974; Ph.D., 1977.
School of Management,
Drew University, B.A. (Mathematics), 1968
Music theory & composition, Tulane University, 1961-1965.
Classics/Intellectual History, St. John’s College, 1965-1966.
German, Hope College
Piano, University of Illinois, 1968.
Piano and composition, Royal Conservatory of
Finance, Canadian Securities Institute, 1979-1980.
Trumpet, Private student of Chase Sanborn, 1992-2000.