Dr. Calvin Jongsma

Emeritus Professor of Mathematics


  • Ph.D. University of Toronto (Mathematics; History of Science & Mathematics, 1982)
  • A.B.D. State University of New York at Buffalo (Mathematics, 1975)
  • M.A. Western Michigan University (Mathematics, 1970)
  • B.S. Calvin University (Mathematics, 1969)

Academic Interests

My mathematics background is primarily in algebra, analysis, and topology, but my interests and teaching experience are more wide-ranging. The areas of mathematics I am most attracted to are abstract algebra, discrete mathematics, and mathematical logic. My professional training and research is in the history of mathematics and history of logic, but I have strong interests in philosophy and foundations of mathematics, trends in mathematics education, and the relation of mathematics and religion.

Selected Publications

  • 2023 — Review of Generations of Reason by Joan Richards (Yale University Press, 2021). Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 75(1): 63 – 65.
  • 2023 — Richard Whately's Revitalization of Syllogistic Logic. This is the lead chapter in Aristotle’s Syllogism and the Creation of Modern Logic, 1820s – 1930s edited by Lukas M. Verburgt and Matteo Cosci. Bloomsbury Studies in the Aristotelian Tradition. Bloomsbury Academic.
  • 2020 — Review of Mathematics for Human Flourishing by Francis Su (Yale University Press, 2020). Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 72(3): 179 – 181.
  • 2019 — Introduction to Discrete Mathematics via Logic and Proof. Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics. Springer. 502 pages.
    • This text is based on classroom materials for courses I taught for three decades at Dordt. An instructor’s Solution Manual to accompany the text was authored by me in collaboration with Dr. Kyle Fey. 220 pages.
  • 2017 — Review of Sourcebook in the Mathematics of Medieval Europe and North Africa edited by Victor Katz, Menso Folkerts, et al. (Princeton University Press, 2016). The American Mathematical Monthly 124(7), 667 – 672.
  • 2015 — Review of Victor J. Katz and Karen Hunger Parshall's Taming the Unknown: A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2014). MAA Reviews Online, 02/26/2015.
  • 2014 — Poythress's Trinitarian Logic: A Review Essay. Pro Rege 42(4): 6 – 15.
    • This reviews Vern Sheridan Poythress’s Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought (Crossway, 2013).
  • 2012 — Review of Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith edited by James Bradley and Russell Howell (HarperOne, 2011). Pro Rege XLI(1): 24 – 26.
  • 2007 — Mathematics: Always Important, Never Enough. A Christian Perspective on Mathematics and Mathematics Education. Pro Rege XXXV (4): 21 – 38.
    • Keynote address given at Dordt’s 2006 B J Haan Education Conference on Teaching Math in the Christian School.
  • 2001 — Mathematics in a Post-Modern Age: A Christian Perspective. Edited by Russell W. Howell and W. James Bradley. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
    • I contributed two-plus chapters on the history of mathematization (pp. 133 – 201) to this work.
  • 1985 — Essay review of The Boole-De Morgan Correspondence 1842 – 1864 edited by G C Smith (Oxford University Press, 1982). Historia Mathematica 12: 186 – 90.
  • 1983 — Bibliography of Christianity and Mathematics 1910 1983. Dordt College Press. Pamphlet compiled and annotated with Gene Chase. 69 pages.
  • 1983 — Richard Whately and the Revival of Syllogistic Logic in Great Britain in the Early Nineteenth Century. University of Toronto Ph.D. dissertation. 582 pages.

Institutional Responsibilities

  • I was the Mathematics Department Chair for 10 years and author of its first major program review in 2005.
  • I chaired Dordt’s first Strategic Planning Committee for two years and authored the committee’s final report Renewing Our Vision (1989).
  • I was the chair of Dordt’s General Education Committee for 10 years and a co-author of The Educational Framework of Dordt College (1994).
  • I was the director of Dordt’s New Faculty Orientation Program for nine years.

Courses Taught

  • I taught a total of 24 different mathematics courses, including History of Mathematics (Math 390), multiple times during my tenure 1982 – 2013 as well as an alternate year introductory logic course for the Philosophy Department (Phil 202) and a capstone course for the General Education/Core Program (Core 399).
  • I also led a weekly seminar for new faculty that focused on Dordt’s history and philosophy of education.