DATE PHOTO IT IS MAY, 2013. WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE WE?
May 7 (Tue) Depart Fargo for Chicago and then Frankfurt, Germany.
May 8 (Wed) Frankfurt to Cairo, Egypt. Upon arrival in Cairo, we will transport to the hotel and enjoy an evening of leisure in Egypt.
May 9 (Thu) Cairo. Full day excursion to Memphis, Saqqara, and the Giza Pyramid Complex. One of the precursors to the true pyramids was that built in Saqqara by Zoser of the third dynasty, the Step Pyramid. After lunch continue to the Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, over which the Great Sphinx stands guard. Does the Great Pyramid really contain mathematical secrets from the past? Erected in 2600 BC, the pyramid contains more than 2 million stone blocks, covering 13 acres and is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Sleeper train to Luxor.
May 10 (Fri) Luxor. The capital city of the old Egyptian empire. In no other place in the world is so much beauty, interest and attraction crowded into such a comparatively small area. The Nile divides the city of Luxor and Karnak, where every rock and stone is redolent with history. Originally forbidden to all but Pharaoh and Priest, the religious structures imply knowledge lost to us today.
May 11 (Sat) Luxor (West Bank). Cross the Nile to the Western banks and the world famous Valley of the Queens, the Tombs of the Nobles and Funerary Temples of the Nobles, as well as the Ramses. We cross the mountains to the Valley of the Kings to visit tombs such as that of King Tut-Ankh-Amun (King Tut) and Queen Hatshepsut's mortuary temple Deir el Bahari.
May 12 (Sun) Cairo. Morning visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo with the finest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world. Mummies of Pharaohs, as well as other tomb treasures dating back 5,000 years, are included. Early mathematics developed in this society. Later we will visit the Alabaster Mosque and Citadel of Mohammad Ali, Old Cairo, and the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.
May 13 (Mon) Flight from Cairo to Athens, Greece. After leaving our luggage at the hotel, a short stroll brings us to the Acropolis and its illustrious temple the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena Nike. Here is art of ratio and proportion. Other options include the Benaki Museum and the Cycladic Museum.
May 14 (Tue) Athens. The morning includes a visit to the National Archaeological Museum for an introduction to Mycenaean antiquities, the Cycladic and pottery collections, and Archaic, Classical, Late Classical and Hellenistic Sculpture. This was a Greece with wealth and mathematical art. Visit the Agora, the market and meeting place of ancient Athens. Later we hike up Lykavittos Hill, topped by the Chapel of Agios Giorgios, for a magnificent view of modern sprawling Athens.
May 15 (Wed) Athens to Corinth to Epidaurus to Tolo. Depart from Athens by chartered bus to Corinth and possibly Acrocorinth. Archaic Corinth was at its peak in the sixth century BC; the Temple of Apollo dates from this period. See the ruins of the Roman era, as known to the Apostle Paul. Here Alexander the Great was chosen to lead the Greeks in battle in 336 BC. Even Alexander and later Nero, however, were unable to complete the Corinth Canal (1893) linking the Ionian and Aegean Seas. Also included is the well-preserved acoustical wonder, the theater at the Asklepieion at Epidaurus.
May 16 (Thu) Mycenae and Nafplio. Walk through the Lions's Gate to the fabled city of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, rich in gold. Highlights include the beehive tomb known as the "Treasure of Atreus" and the Grave Circles. In Nafplio we'll ascend to the imposing Palamidi Fortress before returning for an afternoon at the beach in Tolo.
May 17 (Fri) Tolo to Delphi. Ancient oracle to Apollo. Afternoon includes the ancient site and museum in Delphi. Remain for the night at what the Greeks considered the most beautiful place in the world--the Navel of the World. How is it that a culture such as this should revolutionize mathematics so? Explore more of the bucolic nature of Delphi with a hike up Mt. Parnassus. For a scientific study of the site, see William J. Broad's The Oracle: ancient Delphi and the science behind its lost secrets.
May 18 (Sat) Delphi to Athens to Rome, Italy. Return to Athens for our early flight to Rome--the Eternal City. We visit the Roman Forum and the Imperial Forum. This area was the commercial, civil, and religious center of Roman life in the Republican Era, BC, and at the time of Julius Caesar. The Colosseum is also included. With their engineering skills, what happened to the development of mathematics among the ancient Romans?
May 19 (Sun) Rome. Morning at the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica, the most majestic building in the world. Visit the Vatican Museum and Art Gallery, and the Sistine Chapel. After visiting the Pantheon, we explore nearby Sant' Ignazio, with its extraordinary illusionistic ceiling frescoes, executed ca. 1691-4 by the Jesuit mathematician Fra Andrea del Pozzo, who was as well known for his mathematical learning and treatises as he was for his art. Also close at hand is Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, home of Caravaggio's "Calling of St. Matthew." Michelangelo's sculpture of Moses can be seen in the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli.
May 20 (Mon) Rome to Florence. Depart from Rome by train. The Cathedral (Duomo) with Giotto's campanile, Brunelleschi's dome, and the Battistero with its geometrically decorated facing will occupy the afternoon. The engineering of this structure was tremendous. We will visit Santa Crocé (Sacred Cross), with its beautiful interior containing the tombs of many luminaries, including Michelangelo and Galileo.
May 21 (Tue) Florence. The day will include the Uffizi Museum and Galleries to observe the introduction of perspective into painting, and consider the influence on mathematics; many masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance are housed here, including those by Botticelli and Caravaggio. Visit the near-by Science Museum and then shop on the Ponte Vecchio. In the afternoon, see Michelangelo's David and other sculptures at the Galleria dell'Accademia.
May 22 (Wed) Florence to Interlaken, Switzerland. Train ride from Florence to Milan. After a brief layover, we continue on to Spiez and finally to Interlaken. The stunning scenery of the Swiss Alps reminds us why so many mathematicians over the centuries have come here for thinking, hiking, and honeymoons!
May 23 (Thu) Interlaken. From Interlaken West we take the train to Lauterbrunnen. Hiking or the optional cable car leads to the first mountain destination of Murren. Further hiking will bring us to Steckelberg and back.
May 24 (Fri) Interlaken to Paris, France. Walk through the beautiful gardens of Paris, or up to the majestic Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart) for a magnificent view of the city. The evening includes a boatride on the Seine, through the heart of Paris.
May 25 (Sat) Paris. Our first full day in Paris offers many opportunities: the Musée National Picasso, the Musée d'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame de Paris.
May 26 (Sun) Paris. Another full day of museums in Paris, including the Musée du Louvre, and the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie for those fluent in French. Other options include the Aquarium and the Museum of Arts and Measures.
May 27 (Mon) Paris to London, England. Take EuroStar via the chunnel to London. Visit the British Museum to view the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, towering Assyrian sculpture, exhibits on China and Japan, and many thousands of other displays.. Attend an evening musical or play in London's West End.
May 28 (Tue) London. We take the Docklands Light Rail to the observatory at Greenwich. Here is England's answer to the need of locating positions at sea. Built in 1675, the observatory was used to plot the heavens so that with an accurate time-keeper sailors could easily find their way to the new continent; stand on the Prime Meridian. Afterwards we take the tube to South Kensington in London for a tour the Science Museum.
May 29 (Wed) London. Free day in London. Options include the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Natural History Museum, Westminster Abbey and the memorial to Sir Isaac Newton, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. In all of these structures we appreciate the geometry and the vectors involved.
May 30 (Thu) London. See the mysterious Stonehenge, believed to be sunworshipping temples of ancient Druids, concentric circles of gigantic boulders over 4,000 years old. What mathematics and astronomy was known by the original builders? Also become familiar with English gothic architecture when visiting Salisbury Cathedral with its famous 404 foot stone spire.
May 31 (Fri) London to Chicago to Fargo.


  • Mathematics May Seminar home page.
  • Math 250.
  • Douglas Anderson's home page.
  • Department of Mathematics home page.