History of Mathematics
Dr. Gregory Rhoads and Dr. Sarah J. Greenwald
Where to Get Help
Dr. Rhoads' Office Hours
334 Walker Hall,
262-2741. Feel free to call my office to see if I'm in when it isn't my office hours.
326 Walker Hall,
I am always happy to help you in office hours. An open door
means that I am on the floor somewhere, so come look for me.
Check the main web page often.
The WebCT Bulletin Board
is the easiest way to ask a math question outside of class and office hours.
We prefer that you use office hours since it is easier to discuss
material in person, but if you can not make them, then the newsgroup
is a great alternative.
Burton, David M. The History of Mathematics (Fifth Edition),
Hill, New York, 2003
This is a great reference on the
history of math. You'll find it to be an excellent resource.
Dunham, William, Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems
of Mathematics, Wiley, New York, 1990.
text is available for purchase from the bookstore.
A wonderful book
discussing some of the major ideas in mathematics through it's history.
There is an excellent transition between the ideas showing how different
branches of mathematics can be generated from the same problem.
Guedj, Denis, The Parrot's Theorem (translated by Frank Wynne),
Thomas Dunn Books, New York, 2000.
This text is available for purchase from the bookstore.
A fun mystery with
math history as its basis. A nice introduction to the topic for the
access to a web-browser at least once every 48 hours
loose-leaf notebook to organize handouts, notes and your work
printouts of your work -
for information about ASU charging for print services.
materials for poster project
Course Goals and Methodology
Learn about the historical progression of mathematics and the
mathematicians who contributed to this progression, including the
mathematics of living mathematicians.
Examine the role of the history of mathematics in school classrooms
Develop the ability to research topics and
summarize and critically evaluate sources and materials.
Develop the ability to create classroom worksheets and activities.
Develop communication skills through
in-class discussions and/or presentations,
and web page design.
By learning mathematics within the context of its historical progression,
students develop a greater appreciation for connections between various
disciplines of mathematics and the dynamical nature of the subject. By
investigating the mathematical contributions of people in other lands and
times, students will see mathematics as a discipline for everyone that
transcends culture, time, race, and gender. In this course, we will
examine the history of algebra, geometry, number theory, and other areas
of mathematics and learn about the culturally diverse mathematicians who
worked in these areas. Students will be expected to complete projects
appropriate for their background and major. These projects could include
research reports, classroom activities, presentations, or problem sets.
The course is 3 credit hours.
Students must attend the 3010 class, and those classes from the 5125 course
which are mathematically appropriate and
accessible (to be determined by the instructors).
The remainder of the course will be
conducted as independent study, with frequent meetings with the instructors.
Participation in Classroom Activities 10%
Regular classes will consist of discussions, activities, problem solving,
and a little bit of standard lecturing. As such, students will learn
little from this course if they don't attend or actively engage the
material. Therefore, you are expected to attend all classes, complete
homework, critically read the literature, and actively participate in
the class discussions and lab exercises. Not keeping up with or
contributing to the class will result in a lower participation grade.
Students will be expected to complete projects appropriate for their
background and major. These projects could include research reports,
classroom activity sheets, presentations, or problem sets.
Work may be turned in before, but never after the due date with
the exception of one emergency late project over the course of the
semester which must be turn in within one week from the original due
Some projects may occur during the last week of classes.
Classroom Worksheets 10%
Students will create classroom worksheets which are appropriate for
use in classrooms. One of these worksheets must be tested in
their own classroom, and another worksheet will be tested in
the 3010 classroom. Students will create suplementary materials
such as solutions, teacher notes, and the relationship of the worksheet
to the NCTM standards. Students will post their materials
to the course website.
Tests are designed to reinforce readings and course material.
Tests may be oral, written or on WebCT.
No make-ups allowed (may occur during the last week of classes).
Final Project Poster and Web Project 25% will occur on
Tuesday 5/7/03 from 9-11:30. No make-ups allowed.
There will extra credit opportunities during the
semester for which points will accumulate. When final grades are
given, extra credit points are taken into account in the determination of
-, nothing, or + attached to a letter grade.
For example, if you attend and contribute to classes that are designated
for only the graduate students, then you will receive extra credit.
Plan to spend approximately
2-3 hours outside of class for each hour in class,
on average, on this course.
You are responsible for all material covered and all announcements
and assignments made at each class, whether
you are present or not. You are also responsible for announcements
made on the web pages, so check them often.
Asking questions, and explaining things to others, in or out of class,
is one of the best ways to improve your understanding of the material.
We will promote an environment in which everyone
feels comfortable asking questions,
making mistakes, offering good guesses and ideas, and is respectful to
Turn in projects or prepare to present problems
even if it they are not complete, even if only to say, "I do not
understand such and such" or "I am stuck here."
Be as specific as possible.
When writing up work, be sure to give acknowledgment where it is due.
Submitting someone else's work as your own (PLAGIARISM) is a serious
violation of the University's Academic Integrity Code.
In this course, you will be challenged with problems that you have never
seen before. We do not expect you to be able to resolve all the issues
immediately. Instead, we want to see what you can do on your own.
Out in the real world, this is important, since no matter what job
you have, you will be expected to seek out information and answers
to new topics you have not seen before.
This may feel uncomfortable and frustrating. We understand this
and want to help you through the process.
It helps to remember that
there are no mathematical dead-ends!
Each time we get stuck, it teaches us
something about the problem we are working on, and leads us to a
deeper understanding of the mathematics.
In the real world though, you are not expected to face your work alone.
You will be allowed to talk to other people
and you may even be expected to work with other people.
In this class, you are also not expected to face your work alone.
We are always happy to help you in class, during office hours (or by
appointment), or on the WebCT bulletin board, and will
try to give you hints and direction.
At times though, to encourage the exploration process,
we may direct you to rethink a problem
and come back to discuss it later. It is important to not only
understand the correct solution and why it works, but also to understand
why other potential solutions don't work. This
struggling with different techniques is imperative for your
deep understanding of the material.