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Browse Middle School History/Biography
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or good places to begin browsing.

Selected answers to common questions:
    About Roman numerals.

Hebrew Mathematics [09/21/2000]
I need to write a one-page article on the Hebrew mathematics system.

History and Origination of the Metric System [08/13/2005]
Who invented the metric system?

History of Calculating Pi [05/20/1998]
How have the formulas for pi evolved throughout mathematical history?

History of Circle Area Formula [03/19/2007]
Do we know who figured out that pi*r^2 gives the area of a circle?

History of Exponent Notation [11/03/2003]
Why is the symbol for exponents a smaller number above the base? How did it become this? What is the history of it?

History of Fractions [12/7/1995]
How did the Babylonians, Ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, or Hindus use fractions?

History of Multiplication [4/18/1996]
I thought it would be interesting if my students found out how other cultures did multiplication in earlier time periods.

The History of Numbers and Numerals [12/08/1998]
Can you give me some information on the history of numbers? How were they developed and where are they used?

History of Numerals and Counting: Bibliography [11/18/1996]
Where do I find information on different systems of measurements?

History of Numerals and Symbols [06/22/1998]
Why and when did the change from Roman to Hindo-Arabic numerals occur? What is the history of +, -, =, /, etc.?

History of Odd and Even Numbers [02/12/2004]
Who invented the names 'odd' and 'even' numbers? When did they first start being used?

The History of Pentominoes [10/22/1995]
I would like to know who "invented" or developed pentominoes and any background information.

History of Probability [04/07/1997]
Who first researched probability?

History of Ratio and Proportion [12/28/2003]
Who discovered ratios and proportions? When did it happen?

History of the Fraction Bar [09/01/2005]
What is the original name of the fraction bar? I know it is called the vinculum, but was that the original name? If not, what was it originally called?

History of the Mile [08/25/2002]
Why are there 5,280 feet in a mile?

History of the Order of Operations [11/22/2000]
Can you give me some facts and conjectures about when, where, and why the order of operations was established?

History of the Radical Sign [04/17/1997]
Who invented the radical sign?

History of the Word 'Exponent' [11/26/2003]
Who came up with the name 'exponent'?

History of Writing Decimals and Number Lines [10/28/1998]
Why, on a number line, are the negative numbers are on the left? When you deal with decimals, why are the whole numbers are on the left?

History of Zero and Place Value [02/17/1999]
Where were zero and place value invented or discovered?

How Can a Line Have Length? [04/14/1998]
If a Euclidean point has no length, how can a union of Euclidean points form a Euclidean line segment with length?

How Long is a Meter? a Second? [09/06/2001]
How is the length of a meter currently determined?

How Pi Was Derived and Relates to Area of a Circle [03/04/1998]
Using inscribed and circumscribed polygons to derive Pi and circle area.

How to Use a Chinese Abacus [06/24/2004]
An introduction to how the abacus works and examples of entering, reading and adding numbers using it.

Impossible Constructions [01/14/1998]
What are the three ancient impossible construction problems of Euclidean geometry?

Incan Quipus [09/30/1999]
Information on the colored ropes the Incas used for counting.

Invention of the Metric System [02/13/1997]
Who invented the metric system?

John Napier [06/17/1998]
Why was John Napier's discovery of logarithms a great contribution to the field of mathematics?

John Venn and Venn Diagrams [09/04/1998]
Can you give me some information on John Venn and the origin of Venn diagrams?

K as an Abbreviation for Thousands [05/29/2002]
I was taught that 30K meant thirty thousand. Is that correct?

Large Roman Numerals [08/15/1997]
Could you please convert 5000, 1,000,000, and 5,000,000 into Roman numerals?

Lenore Blum [04/21/1997]
Where can I find information on Lenore Blum?

Letters for Variables [11/19/2001]
Why do we use letters for variables?

'Log' Button [01/29/1998]
We have been using the 'log' button on our calculators to solve problems involving compound interest. What does that button do?

Ludolph van Ceulen and Pi [11/02/1998]
How did Ludolph van Ceulen estimate pi by inscribing and circumscribing a circle with squares?

Maria Agnesi [03/15/1997]
Where can I get information on Maria Agnesi? What is the Witch of Agnesi?

Math and Music: Harmonic Series [01/09/1998]
Could you supply me with information on how math relates to music?

Mathematics in Colonial America [11/10/1997]
I am at a loss at how to incorporate pragmatic mathematic lessons into an early America lesson.

Math on Africa [01/03/1997]
We're doing an interdisciplinary unit on Africa. My part is to do something about math...

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