HistorySTM March Madness

[UPDATE: voting in round 1 is underway HistorySTM Round 1]

HistorySTM March Madness is about to begin.[1] After heated debate and some minor altercations, the selection committee has finalized the 2015 bracket.

2015 HistorySTM March Madness bracket (click to embiggen).
2015 HistorySTM March Madness bracket (click to embiggen).

I have assigned people to one of four divisions, corresponding to the quadrivial subjects: Arithmetica, Astronomia, Geometria, Musica.

The rules of for the tournament are:

  • A different question will be used for each round.
  • The question will be posted the day each round begins.
  • Based on the question (e.g., “Who would you most like to have coffee with?”) vote for a person.
  • The person receiving the most votes advances to the next round and faces a new challenger and question.

Thursday I will post the question for the first round and open the voting.


  1. For those who live somewhere not yet overrun by March Madness, some explanation might be helpful. In the USA most of March is consumed by the college basketball championships. Originally, apparently, the term “March Madness” referred more generally to basketball championships, but seeing an opportunity to make more money, the NCAA has since transformed the term “March Madness” into a marketing juggernaut. Now, people everywhere spend much of March filling out brackets, trying to guess which team will be the next NCAA champion. Everywhere you go in the US right now you seen brackets, you are asked to fill out brackets, you see someone filling out brackets. Turn on the radio and hear about March Madness. See it on TV. It’s everywhere. And as with any sporting event of any size, a whole culture of betting pools has developed around March Madness.
    I am part of a subset (judging from the people around me, an infinitesimally small subset) of the US population that a) doesn’t follow basketball and b) doesn’t follow NCAA sports (for a variety of reasons). I (and probably an infinitesimally small subset of the US population) do care about the history of science. So I thought it might be fun to have a HistSTM March Madness. This is my little effort to have some fun in March.  ↩

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