History, 2013
  • The Liber Abaci and the Role of Leonardo: Analysis of the Contribution of Leonardo of Pisa on the Financial History of Europe
    William Magginis
    Mentor: Jonathan Loopstra

    My research focuses on history’s role in shaping modern day political and economic schemes. In this essay I examined Leonardo of Pisa’s (Fibonacci) contribution to the modern western world, especially his role in shaping capitalism in Europe. Using a mixture of primary and secondary sources, especially Fibonacci’s own Liber Abaci and William Goetzmann’s article “Fibonacci and the Financial Revolution,” I investigated and discovered Leonardo’s important place in introducing the Hindu-Arabic numeral system; thus allowing a wide array of mathematics, sciences, and arts to take root and bloom in the coming centuries. I found that through the Liber Abaci and other works authored by Fibonacci, he essentially established a mathematical framework that allowed capitalism to shape and evolve to its present day nature. In my field, this would be essential to anyone attempting to fully grasp both the economic history of the west and the present workings of the modern day capitalist system.

    Disaster in Holland: American Involvement in Operation Market Garden
    Ioannis Pavlou
    Mentor: Thomas C. Maroukis

    Operation Market Garden has long been an interesting offensive due to the amount of memoirs of soldiers involved, and the amount of work done by historians to discover the true reasoning behind one
    of the largest offensives of the war. The purpose of my study was to investigate the American involvement in what became the largest airborne assault, and also largest failures for the allies, during World War II. I conducted my research by examining memoirs of American soldiers, as well as numerous historians, writing with retrospect in order to get a better understanding of how this battle managed to prolong the Second World War. In the end, what I learned was that due to the massive amounts of equipment and manpower that was needed for other offensives at the same point, and due to an underestimation of their enemies, the planners of Operation Market Garden were to blame for the loss of life, which ended up prolonging a war that was already on the brink of ending. My contribution is that I looked at the American aspect of the assault that has sometimes been overlooked due to it being more associated with British General Montgomery.