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Nicholas Dell Isola

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Member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History  


Nick completed his BA at Yale University in 2018, double majoring in Classics and Mathematics. Along the way, he dabbled in Sanskrit and tried his hand at archaeology. These pursuits somehow brought him to Japan for two years and change to be an assistant English teacher as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. His experience there imbued him with a passion for not just teaching, but educating students. He is now here at Durham studying Ancient Greek comedy and mathematics.

MA Research: Pop Culture of Mathematics

Nick's work here at Durham is investigating what we can learn from Ancient Greek comedy about mathematics in the fifth to third centuries BCE. While Plato does provide some information about mathematics in his time, comedy provides a lens independent of Plato and the Academy, and more importantly can tell us about what was forefront in the minds of non-philosophers when they considered mathematics. What constituted "mathematics" in comedy, and are there more than one type? How were those who manipulated figures viewed by the audiences of comedy? How was calculation made into humor? These are just a few of the questions I am posing in this investigation.