Syllabus – Math 2720 – History of Mathematics



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Syllabus – Math 2720 – History of Mathematics

Textbook: The History of Mathematics by David Burton (7th edition)

Class website: www.professorhedman.com

1/24 Orientation

The Psychology of Mathematics

1/28 Mathematical Creativity

1/30 Number as Archetype

Chapter One: Early Number Systems

2/4 1.1 Pre-History and Quipus

2/6 1.2 Egyptian Hieratic and Greek numeration

2/11 1.3 Babylonian Cuneiform

Chapter Two: Mathematics in Early Civilizations

2/13 2.1 2.3 Rhind Papyrus 2.2 Egyptian Arithmetic

2/18 2.4 Egyptian Geometry



2/20 2.5, 2.6 Plimpton 322 and Babylonian Mathematics (First Paper Due)

Chapter Three: Early Greek Mathematics

2/25 3.1-3.3 Thales, Pythagoras

2/27 3.4-3.5 Zeno and Constructions

Chapter Four: Alexandrian Mathematics

3/4 4.1-4.3 Euclid, Plato

3/6 4.4 Eratosthenes

3/11 4.5 Archimedes



3/13 MIDTERM (Second Paper Due)

3/17-3/23 SPRING BREAK

Chapter Five: Twilight of Greek Mathematics

3/25 5.1-5.4 Diophantus, Pappus, Constantinople

3/27 5.5 Islamic Culture

4/1 5.5 Chinese Mathematics

Chapter Six: Carolingian Renaissance

4.3 6.1-6.2 Hindu-Arabic Numerals, Oresme

4/8 6.3-6.4 Fibonacci

Chapter Seven: Italian Renaissance

4/10 7.1 Renaissance Universities

4/15 7.2-7.4 Tartaglia, Cardan (Third Paper Due)

Chapter Eight: The Mechanical World

4/17 8.1 Galileo, Napier, Kepler

4/22 8.2 Descartes

4/24 8.3 Newton

4/29 8.4 Leibnitz

5/3 Last Day of Class

Course Requirements
Examinations: Midterm: 50 multiple-choice questions based on lectures and 1.1-4.5

Final: 50 multiple-choice questions based on lectures and 5.1-8.4


Papers: First Paper: Three pages (approx 750 words plus bibliography) on any

Pre-Hellenic topic, such as Egyptian or Babylonian

mathematics, Stonehenge, Mayan calendar or pyramids,

the mathematics of Easter Island, the Ishango bone, etc.


Second Paper: Six pages (approx 1500 words plus bibliography) on the

development of a mathematical topic or the mathematics

of a certain time period. Check topic with me first.
Third Paper: Six pages (approx 1500 words plus bibliography) on the

biography about a mathematician from the attached list.

No two students are to write about the same person, so I

will keep a sign-up sheet. Include both life and times, and

his work.
Grading: Midterm ……………..25 points

Final …………………25 points

First Paper………… 10 points

Second Paper ………..20 points

Third Paper……….….20 points

Total possible………100 points, grading will be on the curve


Paper Requirements:

This is a “W” course, so half of the points a paper earns is based on grammar and syntax and half on content. Bibliographies are to follow AMA standards, exemplified by my published papers on the class website under “Extra Readings.” A hard-copy of the paper is due in class on or before the date assigned. Any late paper for any reason will have two points deducted. This hard-copy will be graded on the point scale above, and returned for corrections. Students will revise their papers according to the corrections, and re-submit a soft-copy on a thumb drive anytime before the end of the course, lest they receive an incomplete for a course grade. The soft-copy will be searched on the internet, so do not plagiarize. Do not bulk up your paper with quotations; one sentence should suffice.



Famous Mathematicians/Scientists for Your Biographical Paper
No two students are to write on the same mathematician. So see me first to sign up.

Ahmes


Thales

Pythagoras

Eratosthenes

Archimedes

Hypatia

Omar Khayyam



Bhaskara

Oresme


Regiomontanus

Fibonacci

Tartaglia

Cardan


Galileo

Kepler


Napier

Fermat


Pascal

Newton


Leibniz

Maclaurin

Bernoulli

Agnesi


Fourier

Laplace


Euler

Lagrange


Gauss

Weierstrauss

Cauchy

Lobachevski



Dedekind

Cantor


Riemann

Hilbert


Russell

Noether


Hardy

Von Neumann



Godel

Einstein


Erdos

Nash


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