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  • ZHOU Xiaohan

ZHOU Xiaohan (Célestin ZHOU)

Assistant Research Fellow

Research field: The history of mathematics in China




2014.09-2018.11 University Paris Diderot, Laboratoire SPHERE (Sciences, Philosophy, History, UMR 7219), Ph.D.

2011.09-2014.03 Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of History and Culture of Science, Master

2007.09-2011.06 Shandong University, School of Physics, Undergraduate


Academic career


2018.12- present The Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Assistant Research Fellow




1. Zhou Xiaohan, The Princes Mathematics and Acoustics: An Examination of the Sources of Zhu Zaiyus (15361611 C.E.) Innovation in Musical Temperament and His Mathematical Approach, Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology, 2023(2) (forthcoming)

2. He Mengying, Zhou Xiaohan, Fourteen Unpublished Letters From Luo Zhenyu to French Sinologist Edouard Chavannes (羅振玉致法國漢學家沙畹未刊書劄十四通考釋), The Documentation (Wenxian), 2023(3), pp.170-192

3. Zhou XiaohanOn the placeholder in numeration and the numeral zero in ChinaMonograph on Zero: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Amsterdam : Vrije Universiteit Press (forthcoming)

4. Zhou Xiaohan, Abacus Representations in the Treatises of the Ming Dynasty: Focusing on the Mathematical Methods of Beads in a Tray (明代珠算著作中的算盤圖示研究——以《盤珠算法》爲例), The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology Vol. 42 ( 2021) No. 2

5. Zhou Xiaohan, He Mengying, The Transmission of Chinese Abacus Arithmetic in the World in the Early and Middle 20th CenturyFocusing on Several Booklets on Abacus Arithmetic Written in English (二十世紀中早期中國珠算在世界的傳播——以幾種英文珠算手册爲例), Journal of Inner Mongolia Normal UniversityNatural Science Edition, Vol. 50 No. 5, 2021

6. Zhou Xiaohan, Preliminary Research on the Mathematical Methods and Order of Problems in the “Fangcheng” Chapter of Yang Hui’s Mathematical Methods (1261 CE)Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology 4 (1), 001–062 (2020)

7. A Primary Study on the Characteristics of Commercialized Mathematical Works in the Ming Dynasty: Focusing on the “Paratext” of Mathematical Works (明代數學著作的商品化特徵初探——以「副文本」爲研究中心), The History of Science Newsletter (Taiwan), 2021, No. 45, pp1-38.

8. Diverse Scholars' Ways of Dealing with the "Method of pile-accumulation" (Duoji shu) in 19th and 20th Century Chinain Writing Histories of Ancient Mathematics, Springer, forthcoming

9. Methods Using duan (pieces [of diagram]) in Yang Hui's (fl. 13th century C.E.)Mathematical Methods Explaining in Detail the Nine Chapters (1261 C.E.)in Practices of Reasoning in the Mathematical Sciences, Springer, forthcoming

10.The Operations of Symbolic Capital and Their Improper Incomes (Xiangzheng ziben de yunzuo jiqi buzhengdang shouyi象徵資本的運作及其不正當收益), Journal of Foshan University (佛山科學技術學院學報), 2013, pp.1-6




1. Selected Collection of Mathematics in the East (Dongfang shuxue xuancui 東方數學選粹) pp. 219-387 Shanghai: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, 2016. translated from The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam. A Sourcebook pp. 187-378, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2007


Critical edition of ancient scientific books


1. Great Compendium of The Nine Chapters on Mathematical Methods with Analogies (Jiuzhang suanfa bilei daquan 九章算法比類大全 1450, 1488 C.E.) (The Selected Collection of Chinese Sciences and Technology Classics (中國科技典籍選刊) Jinan: Shandong Science and Technology Press) (forthcoming)

2. Arithmetical Indicator Gathering the Cultures (Tongwen suanzhi 同文算指) "General compilation (Tongbian 通編), fascicules 1-4", in The Collection of Chinese Books [Contributed ] by the Western Missionaries during the Late Ming and Early Qing [Dynasties] The First Series (Mingqing zhiji xifang chuanjiaoshi hanji congkan diyiji 明清之際西方傳教士漢籍叢刊 第一輯) Nanjing: Phoenix Publishing & Media, pp. 100-278, 2013


Research Project

1. The western scholars’ translations, interpretations and understandings since the 19th century of mathematical works in ancient China.(十九世紀以來西方對中國古代算學著作的翻譯、闡釋與認識研究)a research project funded by “The National Social Science Fund of China” (youth research project)

2. The practical mathematics from the 13th century to the 16th century China (十三至十六世紀中國實用數學) a research project funded by “Youth Innovation Promotion Association, Chinese Academy of Sciences”


International cooperation

Member of the CHPSAA (Centre Pour une Histoire De La Philosophie et des Sciences vue d’Asie, d’Afrique, etc), HSHT (Histoire des Sciences, Histoire du Texte), Laboratoire SPHERE, CNRS & Université Paris Citéhttp://www.sphere.univ-paris-diderot.fr/spip.php?rubrique174&lang=fr



Conference presentations


1.   The Diversity of Arithmetical Practices with Different Calculating Tools Recorded in Great Compendium (1450 C.E.) in “The Tenth Annual Meeting of Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World”, Prague (online) 2023.6.8

2.   How were the various layers of text of a mathematical Canon embodied in the books produced in the 15th and 16th centuries China? (online) Olomouc, Czech Republic, The 24th Biennial Conference Of The European Association For Chinese Studies, EACS, 2022.8.24

3.   On the placeholder in numeration and the numeral zero in China (online), Conference “Zero: An Interdisciplinary Perspective”, Amsterdam, The Zero Project, 2021.12.12

4.   Yang Hui’s (13th century) understanding and treatments of problems in chapter “right-angled triangle” of the mathematical classic The Nine Chapters. in “Mathematics And Its Ancient Classics Worldwide. Translations, Appropriations, Reconstructions, Roles”, Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, Germany, online, 2021.5.30-6.4

5.   Differences between interpretations using and not using modern mathematical symbols? The “procedure of pile-accumulation” in the Jade Mirror (1303), in Symposium “The shaping of differences in the historiography of ancient mathematics - Editing and translating ancient mathematical texts”. The 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic, online, 2021.7.25-7.31

6.   A comparative study on the representations of abacus as visual aids appearing in mathematical writings of the 16th century, in Symposium “Visual and Material Cultures in the Mathematics of the Ancient World”, The 9th Conference of the European Society for the History of Science. Bologna, Italy, online, 2020.8.31-.9.3

7.   An Elementary Research on Mathematical methods and the order of the problems in the chapter fangcheng of Yang Hui’s works (Xiangjie jiuzhang suanfa fangchengzhang zhong de suanfa yu timu shunxu chutan 《詳解九章算法》(1261 C.E.)方程章中的算法與題目順序初探). Huhehot, Inner Mongolia: Conference on the history of mathematics in China, 2019 December

8.   The diversity and uniformity of the practices of multiplication in mathematical writings in the 15th and 16th centuries. Jeonju, South Korea: The 15th International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia, 2019 August

9.   Elements of Continuity in the Circulation of Mathematical Knowledge and Practices in Chapter “Measures in Square” in Mathematical Writings in China. Prague, Czech Republic: The 16th International Congress on Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2019 August

10. Ph.D. thesis pitch presentation. Leiden, the Netherlands: The 11th International Convention of Asia Scholar, 2019 July

11. Who wrote prefaces to mathematical books? A further investigation into the social identities of the authors of prefaces to Great Compendium (1450, 1488) and some characteristic features in paratext of mathematical writings produced during the Ming (1368-1644) period (Shishui wei shuxueshu xiexuJiuzhang suanfa bilei daquan zuoxuzhe shenfen zaikao yiji mingdai shuxue zhuzuo fuwenben de bufen tezheng 是誰為數學書寫序?:《九章算法比類大全》(1450, 1488)作序者身份再考以及明代數學著作副文本的部分特徵). Shanghai: The Tenth National Conference of Chinese Society for the History of Mathematics, 2019 May

12. The paradigm for expressing mathematical methods relating to the right-angled triangle in the 13th-century Mathematical Methods and its influence on the 15th-century Great Compendium. Paris: Conference “On cultures of scientific practice in ancient mathematical sciences - historical and historiographic approaches”, 2019 April

13. Methods using duan (pieces of diagram]) in Yang Hui's (fl. 13th century C.E.) Mathematical Methods Explaining in Detail the Nine Chapters (1261 C.E.). Paris: Conference "Practices of reasoning in the mathematical sciences", 2017 December

14. Diverse scholars' ways of dealing with the "method of pile-accumulation" (Duoji shu) in 19th and 20th Century China. Paris: Conference "Writing histories of ancient mathematics", 2016 October

15. The anxieties of legitimating mathematical knowledge represented by prefaces to mathematical works in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Prague: The 7th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science, 2016 September

16. The problems relating to apportionment of taxes and corvée labor in mathematical writings of the early ages (Zaoqi shuxue wenxian zhong de fuyi fenpai wenti 早期數學文獻中的賦役分派問題). Shanghai: The Winter Solstice Conference, School of History and Culture of Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2013 December

17. The origin of mathematics in China: A comparison research between Mathematics, Writings on Mathematical Procedures and The Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures (Zhongsuan zhiyuan: Shu, Suanshushu yu Jiuzhang suanshu de bijiao yanjiu 中算之源:《數》《算數書》與《九章算術》的比較研究). Xuancheng, Anhui: The international conference celebrating the 380th anniversary of Mei Wending, 2013 November


Seminar Presentations


1.   The concepts and practices relating to “zheng (lit. positive)” and “fu (lit. negative)” in the 13th century: interpretation and critical study of the diagrams and texts from Mathematical Methods by Yang Hui (十三世紀的“正負”概念和操作:對楊輝《詳解九章算法》圖示和文本的解讀與校勘) Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2023, April 9.

2.   Collecting funds for the publication of mathematical works and the ways of profiting from the publication in the Ming Dynasty (明代算書出版的經費來源和獲利方式初探), Jilin Normal University (online), 2022, December 18

3.   The textual format of a 15th-century Chinese mathematical work: an ongoing reproduction version of Great Compendium (1450) (online) Paris, Université Paris Cité, SPHERE, Centre for the History of Philosophy and Science seen from Asia, Africa, and so on (CHPSAA) Seminar 2022.3.21

4.   The textual format of a 15th-century Chinese mathematical work: an ongoing reproduction version of Great Compendium (1450), Seminar of the Centre for the History of Philosophy and Science seen from Asia, Africa, and so on (CHPSAA), Paris, online, 2022.3.21

5.   The translations and interpretations of The Nine Chapters and its fangcheng chapter in English and French works (英法文獻中對《九章》及其方程算法的翻譯與闡釋), in Workshop on historiography of mathematics, School of History of Sciences and Scientific Cultures, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

6.   On the placeholder in numeration and the numeral zero in China, in “International Conference-cum-Workshop on ZERO, An Interdisciplinary Perspective”, The Netherlands, online, 2021.12.12

7. How did Chinese scholars treat western mathematical methods that they perceived as similar to extant Chinese procedures: A case study on the double false position method in the early 17th century, Paris: "The transfer of mathematical knowledge between Europe and East Asia: case studies from the end of the Ming dynasty (China), to the Taisho era (Japan)" Seminar: History and Philosophy of Mathematics, 2016 February

8. Establishing the orthodoxy: Writing and editing biographies of practitioners in the mathematical sciences in Chinese Qing Dynasty (Presented with Chen Zhihui), Paris: "Genres of writing in the history of ancient science" Seminar: History of Science, History of Text, 2016 April

9. Mathematical knowledge and the books in which it was printed: Examining mathematics in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 CE) from the perspective of printing, Paris: "Printing scholarship" Seminar: History of Science, History of Text, 2016 May

10.19th century uses of comparison in the historiography of mathematics and astral sciences in China (Presented with Karine Chemla and Chen Zhihui), Paris: "Historiography of comparison & Historiography of circulation, with a particular reference to the ancient mathematical sciences" Seminar: Exploring 19th and 20th centuries historiographies of mathematics in the ancient world, 2016 May

11.The compilation of Chouren Zhuan (Biographies of Practitioners of Astronomy and Mathematics) and its continuations in the 19th century China, Paris: "The biographical writing" Seminar: History of Science, History of Text, 2017 March




1. Sciences and technologies in China, from the 14th century to 19th century. A lecture (one time) for master students of University Paris Diderot, 2017 March

2. “Elements of Continuity between Mathematical Writings from the Song-Yuan Dynasties and the Ming Dynasty (宋元到明代數學著作的連續性)”, A lecture in the course “The Methodologies and Case Studies of the History of Science and Technology (科技史研究案例與方法)” for master/Ph.D. students from the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS. 2022.9.20


Address: Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 55 Zhongguancun East Road, Haidian, Beijing 100190, P. R. China

Post Code: 100190

Tel: (86-10) 57552515

Fax: (86-10) 57552567


Email: zhouxiaohan@ihns.ac.cnxhzhou630@hotmail.com