Thesis: Coming Along

Since my last post on this subject, I’ve narrowed the focus of my thesis to just one mathematician, René Descartes. My advisor and I realized that with the level of detail I’m using, doing more than one mathematician would be insane. With that change, I have now finished coding my data. That process involved pretty much retyping the whole of La Géométrie (in French* and in English) into a spreadsheet so that I could enter codes for each sentence.

So, with that done, I had the whole text in a spreadsheet, copy-and-paste-able…and I thought, hey, Wordle! So here it is.

“Expression” and “equation” are both probably a bit bigger than they should be, because I started just typing [expression] or [equation] rather than typing the whole things out, as the actual values are irrelevant for my research. However, there are a lot of expressions and equations in there, so I don’t think it’s that off to have those words enlarged.

*And can I just say, the French that I learned in school and the French that Descartes was writing? NOT the same thing. I can figure it out – the letters u and v are interchanged sometimes; i is used for j; non-final s’s look very similar to f’s; y is sometimes used for i; words that now have an accent over a vowel then had an s following the vowel; etc. But it took some adjusting, and it wasn’t until I was nearly done that I realized the adverb “desia” that I kept seeing was actually the word “déjà.” All that said…it’s very cool to see how the language has changed, and I really feel like my grasp of French has increased significantly as a result of this work.

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