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Browse High School History/Biography

Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or good places to begin browsing.



Origin of Radians [05/27/2002]
Where, exactly, did radians come from?

Origin of the Quadratic Equation [7/12/1996]
Who discovered the Quadratic Equation?

Origin of the Terms Sine, Cosine, Tangent, etc. [10/27/1999]
Can you tell me the origin of the terms hypotenuse, sine, cosine, and tangent? Can you tell me how the trigonometric formulas for sine, cosine, and tangent came about?

Origin of the Term Vertical Angles [04/04/2005]
Why do we call them "vertical angles" when many of them are "horizontal" (extending left and right)? Where did that name come from?

Origins and Originality [1/12/1995]
I have always wondered how the great mathematicians derived their formulas based on nothing more than logic and tedious devotion. What are the origins of math?

Origins of the Fahrenheit Scale [11/20/1998]
Why did Fahrenheit choose 32 as the freezing point of water? Where did he get his scale?

Perpetual Calendar [10/21/1998]
How do you figure the perpetual calendar?

Peter Lax [1/31/1996]
I am researching Peter Lax for a math project. Do you know of any Web sites where I could find information about him?

Plus and Minus Signs [08/14/2002]
What is the difference between the two signs and minus over the plus sign?

Polygon Names II [12/11/2003]
Why is the triangle named "triANGL"', unlike all the other polygons, which have names like "quadriLATERAL" or "pentaGON"?

Polynomials of the Fifth Degree and Above [07/28/2001]
I know how to find the root of a polynomial of the form: ax^2+bx+c=0. But what about a polynomial of the third degree?

Probability in the Infinite Plane [03/29/2003]
Three randomly drawn lines intersect so as to form a triangle on an infinite plane. What is the probability that a randomly selected point will fall inside that triangle?

Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem [12/10/1996]
Can you tell me how Fermat's Last Theorem was proved?

Proving Fermat's Theorem [6/22/1995]
Is Fermat's Last Theorem already proved?

Questions About Math [07/31/1999]
Why was the Cartesian plane invented? Were the more abstract branches of math developed just for fun? What is chaos theory? Why isn't Einstein's equation e = mc^3?

Ramanujan and a Formula for 1/Pi [04/06/1998]
Who is the man who knew infinity?

Reverse Polish Notation [06/26/2002]
Where does the name 'Reverse Polish Notation' come from?

Rhind Papyrus Problems [03/23/1999]
What equations were on the Rhind Papyrus?

Riemann, Mayan Math [5/20/1996]
Math projects: A. Riemann - a German mathmatician; B. The Mayan number system and calendar; C. Probability.

Roman Numerals: Division [11/05/2001]
I have found information on how to add and multiply Roman numerals, but have not found any information on how to divide or subtract.

Rosetta Stone and the Rock at Behunistan [1/25/1995]
I am in a mathematics history class and I am looking for any information relating to the Rosetta Stone used in Egypt and the Rock at Behunistan, of the Babylonians.

Rounding Pi [06/01/1999]
Can you prove that the value of Pi cannot be rounded down to 3.0? Is there an error in the Bible?

Rule of Three [01/23/2002]
How high above the surface of the earth must a person be raised to see 1/3 (one third) of its surface?

The Second Millennium [11/29/1999]
Does the second millennium begin with the year 2000 or the year 2001? How does this relate to the math of counting numbers and subtraction?

The Seven Bridges [8/28/1996]
What is the problem from the 1700s about a town with seven bridges, where you want to cross each bridge exactly once?

Short History of Geometry [09/15/2001]
Were there any people who helped to develop geometry besides Euclid?

Simple Example of Ramanujan's Work [03/28/1999]
Ramanujan's contributions to the divisibility properties of partitions of whole numbers.

Sine of 36 Degrees [11/18/2001]
Ptolemy calculated the sine of 36 degrees geometrically using the construction of a regular pentagon. How did he do it?

Sonya Kovalevskaya [11/19/1995]
Could you please advise me on where I can find information on a mathematician by the name of Sonya Kovalevskaya?

Sphere Surface Area Precision [04/22/2003]
How can the formula 4*pi*r^2 for the surface area of a sphere be precise?

Stokes-Greens-Gauss Theorems [03/25/1997]
Are the Stokes-Greens-Gauss) theorems related? What is their significance?

Subtracting Roman Numerals [03/14/1999]
What are the rules for the "subtraction components" in writing Roman numerals?

Sum of Two Cubes [01/12/2002]
Find the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cube numbers in two different ways.

Terms of the Cartesian Coordinates [12/01/1998]
In addition to abscissa and ordinate, is there a third name of the Cartesian coordinates for the z value?

Theta [04/14/1997]
What is Theta? Does it have a constant value?

Tower of Hanoi Problem [1/3/1995]
I gave my class the Tower of Hanoi problem and legend and, as a project, with the aid of many towers we discovered the patterns for the tower and when the world would end according to the legend. Where and when did the legend originate?

Trachtenberg Mathematics [12/08/1996]
I've been looking for a book I had a long time ago on the Trachtenberg System of mathematics.

Trisecting a Right Angle [12/16/1996]
An explanation of how to trisect a 90 degree angle, plus some constructions.

Trivia about Famous Mathematicians [05/21/1998]
Interesting facts you might not know about 18 famous mathematicians.

Unsolvable and Unsolved Problems [02/19/1998]
What's the difference between problems like Squaring the Circle and Goldbach's Conjecture or the Collatz Problem?

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