Friday Feature: Docuseek films and more

Docuseek is a new, very academic, perhaps humanities-focused "Netflix" of sorts. Really worth checking it out, especially for inspiration for class/research!

Here's something I found there:

The Owl's Legacy: Mathematics, or the Empire Counts Back

So, as many of you may know, a big student-led effort in CC's antiracism mission was the change of the all-college requirements to be more aligned with today's societal and educational needs. One of the main changes was the elimination of the "West in Time" requirement which was, in a few words, an exploration of the intellectual history of western cultures. As a freshman, my FYE was the "World of Numbers", which happened to be a West-in-Time course. The idea was this: explore history, starting from the Babylonians to modern encryption, through math. As such, we were exposed to number systems, historical problems (like the quadrature of the lune) and a few other landmarks in mathematical history. If the West-In-Time idea could be distilled into a single series, it would be The Owl's Legacy, and my FYE would be episode 6: the Empire Counts Back. (In case it's not obvious from the title, this is big nerd time. The owl is a refence to Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom (or Minerva, represented by a deer, in rip-off Roman culture), and just for fun a Star Wars reference.) In case you're interested in what some of these "main theorems" through history may be and what they actually looked like and what their influence in today's math is, you can check out a copy of Journey Through Genius, Dunham, W. (QA21.D78 1991). A particularly interesting figure in all this is Hypatia of Alexandria, which is perhaps the only female figure acknowledged in ancient maths (Hypatia of Alexandria, Deakin, M., QA29.H88 D43 2007). Another cool resource that you can access *exclusively* through Tutt Library, once Special Collections reopens, are some Cuneiform Tablets which show mathematical records kept by Assyrians - the actual clay tablets are in Special Collections. (Other libraries have other clay tablets! But we're the only ones who have ours...)

(Jose Monge Castro)

This documentary is available only to CC students and employees, and until the library reopens to the broader community, that is the case for our physical books as well. Your local public or academic library may have access to these items though! It's worth investigating.

For those with a CC single-sign-on ID:

To watch the documentary, first go to the Tutt Library homepage ( Click on "Books and Media" above the search box, then type owl's legacy empire inside the search box. You will be asked to log in via single-sign-on. Then the film should be the top result for the search. Click "View online" and you should go straight to the film. Or, if you're already logged in, you can go to instead.

You can also find the books Jose mentioned with our Books and Media search. Neither of these books is available as an ebook, but if you have access to campus, you can learn about how to request books and other physical items for pickup here:

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020