Prof. Dr. Andrea Bréard

Bild von Andrea Bréard

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Ulrich-Schalk-Str. 3a
91056 Erlangen

Research Fellow at The Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: The Dynamics of Transculturality", Heidelberg University (Germany)

Home Institution: Mathematics Department, Université Lille 1 Sciences et Technologies (France)

IKGF Visiting Fellow September 2011 – August 2012

(Last change of profile by end of stay)

IKGF Research Project:

The Role of Mathematical Practice and Theory in Divination in Late Imperial China

Curriculum Vitae

Andrea Bréard is an associate professor in the Mathematics Department of the Science and Technology University in Lille (France) and part-time Professor in the History of Science at the Humanities and Social Sciences Department of the Ecole Polytechnique (France). Trained as a mathematician and sinologist in Munich and Shanghai, she holds PhDs in Philosophy, and Epistemology and the History of Science, from the Technical University Berlin and the Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, respectively. Broadly speaking, her research interests focus on the history of mathematics and science in China. Her PhD thesis, published in 1999 in German under the title Re-Kreation eines mathematischen Objektes im chinesischen Diskurs, was a diachronic study of the concepts and contexts of finite series from the 1st to the 19th century in China. Over the last few years, she has been working on the modernization of statistics in early 20 th century China as a case study of complex modes of translation, instigated by political and social change and involving both the adoption of foreign institutional models and the emergence of new areas of knowledge. She has published several articles related to this project and completed a 300 page manuscript, Reform, bureaucratic expansion and production of numbers, for which she was granted the Habilitations-degree in the History of Science by the Technical University, Berlin.

More recently, Andrea Bréard analyzed the interrelation between games of chance, divination and mathematical knowledge as described in "popular" sources in late Imperial China. Using dominos (literally, "ivory tiles") as the material objects that link these three categories of combinatorial practices, she is particularly interested in how "rationality" evolved historically as a knowledge producing value.


  Institution and Location Degree Field of Study
1991 Technical University of Munich Diploma Mathematics & Computer Science
1997 Technical University of Berlin Dr. phil. Philosophy
1997 Université Paris 7 Dr. Epistemology & the History of Science
2008 Technical University of Berlin Habilitation History of Science

Positions and Honors


2002-2004 Visiting Research Scholar, CUNY Graduate Centre (New York), PhD program in History
2004-2005 Research Fellow, CNRS
2005-present Associate Professor in Mathematics, Université des Sciences et Technologies Lille 1
2009-present Full Professor (part-time) in the History of Science, Ecole Polytechnique

Honors, Awards and Scholarships

2006-2009 PEDR (Award for Research & Supervision of doctoral students, Univ. Lille 1)
1999 Prix des Jeunes Historiens (biannual award for outstanding achievements of young historians of science), Académie Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences
1998 Prix de thèse (Award for the best dissertation in Sinology in France), Fondation Sino-Française pour l’Éducation et la Culture

Other Scientific Activities

2010-present Vice-President, Humanities & Social Sciences Department, Ecole Polytechnique
1999-present Associate Researcher of the REHSEIS (Research in Epistemology and the History of Sciences and Scientific Institutions), Science in Asia group, CNRS (Paris)

Selected Publications