Our 45th meeting will be held on Friday-Saturday, September 22-23, 2023, at Xavier University. We will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of the French mathematician, philosopher, and Jansenist Catholic writer, Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). Although he died young, Pascal has been immensely influential on Western modern culture because of his wide-ranging interests. At this meeting, we will read his famous Traité du triangle arithmétique (1665), the source of the attribution to him of the array of binomial coefficients whose properties he studied in this work.

Our readings include the French original, an English translation, and (if you are so interested) a respected secondary source, which investigates the history of the binomial coefficients:

  • Blaise Pascal, Traité du triangle arithmétique (Paris, 1665);
  • ---, Treatise on the arithmetical triangle. Richard Scofield, trans., in Great Books of the Western World, vol. 33: Pascal, Encyclopedia Britannica / U of Chicago Pr, 1952, pp. 447-473.
  • A.W.F. Edwards, Pascal's Arithmetical Triangle:the story of a mathematical idea. Oxford U. Pr., 1987; Johns Hopkins U. Pr., 2002; Dover reprint, 2019.


Submissions from 1952


Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle, Blaise Pascal

Submissions from 1655


Traité du triangle arithmétique, Blaise Pascal