C.V. of Dana A. Freiburger

(view either a PDF version of the below abbreviated CV or look at my full CV)

Research Interests

Broad interests in history of science, history of technology, and science education in the United States and Japan during the last two centuries.


Ph.D., History of Science, Medicine and Technology. University of Wisconsin-Madison (in progress). My dissertation examines the place of science in 19th-Century American Catholic higher education. Advisor: Ronald L. Numbers

M.E., Technical Japanese. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2005)

M.A., History of Science. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2002). Thesis: “We shall be able to beat those yattya hottya [pompous] people” – Building a Japanese Research Tradition in Physics: Hantaro Nagaoka and the Spectroscope. Advisor: Richard Staley

M.Sc., History of Science: Instruments, Museums, Science, Technology. University of Oxford (1999). Dissertation: 18th-Century Surveying Instruments of John Thompson. Advisor: Stephen Johnston

M.S., Engineering Management. Santa Clara University, California (1994)
B.S., Computer Science. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1979)

Selected Publications

“‘To Any Degree’: Jesuit Medical Schools in the Nineteenth-Century United States” in Kyle B. Roberts and Stephen R. Schloesser, eds., Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014 (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 220-255

Review of Peter Heering; Roland Wittje: Learning by Doing: Experiments and Instruments in the History of Science Teaching, Isis 103:4 (2012), 767-769

Review of Peter M. J. Hess; Paul L. Allen: Catholicism and Science, and Don O’Leary: Roman Catholicism and Modern Science: A History, Dana A. Freiburger and Ronald L. Numbers, Isis 100:3 (2009), 636-638

長岡半太郎の新資料について [The New Addition to the Hantaro Nagaoka Papers], Okamoto Takuji, Osako Masahiro, Suzuki Kasuyoshi, and Dana A. Freiburger, Bulletin of the National Science Museum, Tokyo, Series E 29 (2006), 7-13

Report on some Scientific Instrument Collections in Japan,” Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 83 (December 2004), 30-32

“Building a Japanese Research Tradition in Physics: Hantaro Nagaoka and the Spectroscope,” Nuncius 2 (2002), 673-689

Invited Talks

“Teaching Astronomy and Nineteenth-century American Catholic Higher Education,” an online talk presented to members of the Madison Astronomical Society (March 2021)

“Practicing what they Preach: The Bachelor of Science degree in Nineteenth-Century American Catholic Higher Education,” History Department colloquium (Sept. 2019)

Recent Papers Presented

Cattell’s Catholics: Who were these American Men (and Women) of Science?” talk given virtually at the Midwest Junto (April 2021)

“‘Such an important and widespread influence on our society today’: Teaching Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the 1960s,” an online talk presented at the Pedagogy, Popularization, and the Public Understanding of Science conference organized by the Science History Institute in Philadelphia (October 2020)

“The B.S. degree: A New Objective in Nineteenth-Century American Catholic Higher Education,” a paper given at the HSS meeting, Utrecht, The Netherlands (July 2019)

“James Curley, S.J., a Jesuit ‘comet’ in Nineteenth-Century American Astronomy,” poster presented at the 14th Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop, Notre Dame (June 2019)

“What Hath God Taught – Teaching Telegraphy at Notre Dame in the 1870s,” a flash talk presented at the 2018 SHOT conference held in St. Louis, Missouri (October 2018)

“The ‘personal’ equations of American astronomer Joel Stebbins” given at the Scientific Instrument Commission meeting held at the 25th International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 2017)

“The many universes of Seddie Bingham / Sister Aloysia (1873-1899),” a ‘picture-in-1000-words’ presentation at the Tenth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious at Santa Clara University, California (June 2016)

“Branching over History in the Teaching of Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin” talk given at the Midwest Junto, University of Oklahoma (March 2016)

“’If well conducted’ – Teaching science to survive in early nineteenth-century American Catholic Colleges” given at HSS meeting, San Francisco, California (November 2015)

“‘To Any Degree’ – Jesuit Medical Schools in Nineteenth-century American” presented at the “Crossings and Dwellings” conference, Loyola University, Chicago (October 2014)

“Cattell’s Catholics: Who were these American Men of Science?” given at the American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. (January 2014)

“Sweater Girl Chickens – The rise and fall of the Chicken Breast Meter,” given at the Scientific Instrument Commission meeting held at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Manchester, England (July 2013)


“Lines of Faith,” a student exhibit at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford on Instruments and Religious Practice in Islam, open from March – June, 1998. A collective effort on the part of the seven students following the M.Sc. course based at this museum. (exhibit web site) (the exhibit poster)

Work Experience

January 2000 – present: Graduate Student Project Assistant at the History of Cartography Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison, holding the position of Illustrations Editor. It is my responsibility to order images from libraries and archives world-wide as needed for essays submitted for the upcoming History of Cartography series of volumes.

August – November 2018: Graduate Student Research Assistant on the 30th Anniversary Committee in support of the annual Supercomputer Conference held in Dallas, Texas. As the Artifact Display Lead, I installed historical materials in multiple display cases to help mark the conference’s 30th Anniversary in an area open to the 13,000 people attending the event. Additionally, I manned the reception desk at the exhibit and took video interviews with designated attendees.

May 2015 – July 2017: Secretary for International Programme Committee Program Chair Ronald L. Numbers at the 25th International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Duties included handling of correspondence via emails, evaluation of submitted stand-alone paper proposals, organizing sessions of the selected stand-alone papers, chairing of sessions during the Congress, and other assigned tasks.

January 2008 – May 2008: Graduate Teaching Assistant for “History of Science 202: The Making of Modern Science” where I led four discussion sections for this 3 unit course.

1976 – January 2000: Computer professional working in operating system development, software design and test, and software configuration management. Most recent position was with Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale, California, as a Principal Software Engineer.