Math History Theme Page
This "Theme Page" has links to information about Math History. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme. Please read our disclaimer.
in Various Number Systems
- A brief introduction how the abacus works followed by an applet where students
can explore its operations.
- A brief history of pi and answers to What is pi? Who first used pi? How
do you find its value? What is it for? How many digits is it?
- The (relatively short) chapters in this online textbook are: The First
Mathematicians (Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans), The Most Famous Teacher (Euclid),
Al'Khwarizmi & Al Jabr (Algebra), Pi, Beginnings of Trigonometry, Of Amusement
and Recreation, and The Newer Mathematics.
India's Contribution to Mathematics
- Read more about the role of Ancient India in the development of the concept
of zero, the techniques of algebra, algorithms, square roots, cube roots,
and rudiments of geometry.
- A brief explanation of the origin of our numbers.
of Women Mathematicians
- You can find the biographies of more than 125 women mathematicians either
alphabetically or chronologically from the 5th Century BC to the mid 1900's
in this on-going project by students in mathematics classes at Agnes Scott
College, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Brief History of Algebra and Computing
- Chapters on: The Origins of Algebra; Early English Algebra; Algebra and
Analytical Engines; Boolean Algebra; Algebra and Computing; Recent Developments
in the Algebra of Programs.
- A brief description of how Egyptian number system works is accompanied
by three links to activities designed for students to practice their skills.
Problems in the History of Mathematics
- The purpose of this site is to present a small portion of the history of
mathematics through an investigation of some of the great problems that have
inspired mathematicians throughout the ages. Included are problems that are
suitable for middle school and high school math students, with links to solutions,
as well as links to mathematicians' biographies and other math history sites.
This resource is part of The
Math Forum , arguably the premier math education site on the web. If
you wish to search for more History of Math resources than what is on this
CLN Theme Page, the Math
Forum search engine would be a good place to start.
Fun Way to Learn Math History
- Junior high students use the Internet to learn more about famous mathematicians
in this four day lesson plan.
- This site has extensive lists of famous mathematicians. The lists are organized
chronologically (almost 50 distinct periods from 1700 BC to 1940 ) or you
can access the data by region (Babylonia, Egypt, China, Greece, India, Arab
sphere, Japan, and Europe). Generally only the mathematician's name and dates
lived are provided but there are a few hyperlinks to more information.
History of Mathematics Archives
- Don't miss this site! It has biographies of more than 1300 mathematicians,
articles on the history of various math topics, the history and properties
of more than 60 curves, a Mathematician of the Day feature, and more....
for the History of Statistics
- These university resources include brief biographies of statisticians,
over 200 portraits, as well as essays on their works.
Archives: History of Mathematics
- A metalist of links to about 60 web sites on this topic.
- Electronic copies of 571 original math works accessible by title or by
author. Caution: if using access by author, the hotlink is the small arrow
icon to the left of the name.
- Furman University offers this browsable, searchable and downloadable collection
of quotations from famous, and not so famous, mathematicians.
of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
- The lives and works of more than 75 mathematicians from England and continental
Europe. Caution: you may experience delays in connecting to this site.
of the African Diaspora
- In Mathematics, more than any other field of study, have we heard proclamations
and statements similar to, 'The Negro is incapable of succeeding.' Ancient
and present achievements contradict such statements. One of the purposes of
this website is to exhibit the inaccuracy of those proclamations by exhibiting
the accomplishments of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora within
the Mathematical Sciences.
History: Sample Activity Archive
- A small collection of sample activities taken from textbooks published
by the AIMS Education Foundation. Students first read an introduction about
the mathematician (e.g., Lovelace, Newton, Descartes) full of annecdotes about
their life to help them realize that they were people too. A brief student
- Everything you ever wanted to know about this topic.
Moldy Oldies Collection
- This collection of about 20 biographies written by elementary students
may stimulate your students to do similar research.
History of Mathematics
- This annotated metalist is a good source of links to more specific web
resources that can't be included in a limited page like this Theme Page. You
can find links to specific mathematicians and cultures (e.g., Babylonian,
Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec), for example.
- TrackStar is an online interface which allows instructors to create lessons
for students by sequencing existing instructional content in various web sites
within a lesson. Students explore one topic at a particular location within
one web site then move on to the next topic at another web site. The list
of topics remains visible throughout the lesson so that students can remain
on track. Explorations of the web sites beyond the designated instructional
content are also possible.
This link is to their search page from where a keyword search on "math
history" will produce over a dozen hits. Caution.
#1: Many of the web sites that these lessons access may already be on this
CLN page - it's the creation of lesson objectives and the sequencing of
the tours through the sites that make the lesson potentially useful to your
#2: The quality of the lessons (e.g., definining objectives, finding web
sites, sequencing the tours) will vary widely within the TrackStar collection.
- In this lesson plan from WNet, grade 5-12 students use the Internet to
discover the identities of several famous mathematicians. A teacher's guide
Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Math History For other resources in Mathematics (e.g., curricular content, lesson plans, and theme pages), click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.