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Topic: [math-learn] Convergence: Mathematics History for Your Classroom
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[math-learn] Convergence: Mathematics History for Your Classroom
Posted: Nov 5, 2017 6:57 PM
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From New Post on HPM Newsletter, Friday, November 3, 2017. SEE
HPM Newsletter
history and pedagogy of mathematics

MAA Convergence: Mathematics History for Your Classroom

By hbmpinto1981

MAA Convergence is both an online journal on the history of
mathematics and its use in teaching and an ever-expanding collection
of online resources to help its readers teach mathematics using its
history. Founded in 2004 by Victor Katz and Frank Swetz and published
by the Mathematical Association of America, Convergence brings you a
variety of interesting articles and teaching tools.

We highlight here some of our newest articles and resources for use
in your high school or college classroom.

"Trisecting an Angle Using Mechanical Means" is one of our many
articles with interactive features. You and your students can use
author Keith Dreiling's interactive applets to trisect angles using
the methods of Hippias, Archimedes, and Nicomedes.

Above: Spiral of Archimedes for trisecting angles

In "The Mathematics of Levi ben Gershon in the Classroom," author
Shai Simonson shares his translations of work by Levi (1288-1344) on
the value of pi, calculating square roots, and a selection of word
problems. Learn how you and your students can compute your personal
estimates of pi!

In "Impacts of a Unique Course on the History of Mathematics in the
Islamic World," author Nuh Aydin shares his motivation for developing
such a course, its structure and content, its community service
component, and its impacts on students, community members, and his
own scholarship.

Above: From the title page of a 1648 manuscript of John Speidell's
1648 Spherical Trigonometry. See more in MAA Convergence's
"Mathematical Treasures," where this image appears courtesy of the
University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

We continue our series of mini-Primary Source Projects (mini-PSPs)
from the TRansforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via
Primary Historical Sources (TRIUMPHS) team with two new projects:

. "Why be so Critical? Nineteenth Century Mathematics and the
Origins of Analysis," by Janet Barnett, in which introductory
analysis students read criticisms by Bolzano, Cauchy, Dedekind, and
Abel that helped motivate the development of formal proof via precise
inequalities in analysis.
. "Connecting Connectedness," by Nicholas Scoville, in which
introductory topology students see how mathematical ideas and
definitions evolve over time by reading contributions to the concept
and definition of connectedness from Cantor, Jordan, Schoenflies, and

"The Totient Function" is the first article in a new series titled
"Math Origins," in which Euler Archive Director Erik Tou answers the
question, "How were concepts, definitions, tools, and theorems
familiar to today's students of mathematics developed over time?" In
this first installment, Tou explains how the totient function, also
known as the Euler phi-function, was shaped by Euler, Gauss, and

Above: Proposal of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) for symbols for
trigonometric functions (1861). From MAA Convergence's "Mathematical

Our "Index to Mathematical Treasures" includes hundreds of images for
use in your

classroom from dozens of libraries and sources.

See all of these articles and more at MAA Convergence:

Join us at the Convergence of mathematics, history, and teaching!

Janet Beery

Editor, MAA Convergence

University of Redlands, California

Jerry P. Becker
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Services
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
625 Wham Drive / MC 4610
Carbondale, Illinois 62901

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