Introduction to the History of Mathematics – MATH 345

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 04/05/2022

Course Description

This course covers major events in the evolution of mathematical thought from ancient times to the present.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

A study of the History of Mathematics provides students an opportunity to study the historical development of mathematics, develop an appreciation of mathematics, and discover how mathematical structure and exactitude have developed over time.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. MLO 1: Complete computations and derive results as these were done by those who originally discovered them in previous centuries.
  2. MLO 2: Identify the major contributions of those mathematicians who have discovered and developed the major areas of contemporary mathematics.
  3. MLO 3: Integrate the historical personalities and contexts into an explanation of mathematical topics.
  4. MLO 4: Connect mathematical developments with their historical timeframe and related developments.

General Education Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes: Technological Solutions and Quantitative Reasoning (TSQR)

  1. TSQR 1: Analyze data and inform action through a structured method.
  2. TSQR 2: Predict the output based on an input in practical scenarios using technological solutions and/or quantitative reasoning.
  3. TSQR 4: Relate technology and quantitiative reasoning to participation in God’s redemptive work.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirement Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each thread. The discussions give the student the opportunity to debate issues arising from our historical survey, including the relevance of ancient contributions and the interplay of culture and mathematics.  Specifically, the student is asked to consider and evaluate the impact of a Christian worldview on historical developments.  Threads must be at least 100 words. (MLOs: MLO 2, 3, 4FSLOs: TSQR 4).

Homework Assignments (8)

The student will complete a homework assignment for each module in the Learning Management System that is associated with the course textbook. Typically, assignments will cover 2 or 3 chapters from the textbook, depending on the chapter’s length and difficulty.  (MLOs: MLO 1, 2, 3, 4; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).

Mathematician Report Assignments (2)

The student will select two mathematicians and write 2 – 3 page papers that give a brief biographical sketch of each one.  Besides providing the highlights of his/her life, the paper will summarize his/her mathematical (and other) contributions.  Finally, each paper will include a mathematical section illustrating the genius of the subject of his/her report.  (MLOs: MLO 1, 2, 3, 4; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).

Period Overview Video Assignments (4)

Each presentation will summarize the flow of the historical developments of mathematics over the course of 2 course modules.  The student will balance comprehensiveness with brevity to bring out the truly impactful contributions of each era.  Video presentations will present these summaries in an engaging fashion to make the mathematical narrative relevant and fascinating.  The student will also prepare brief slide presentations that integrate mathematical developments with the story of the larger societies within which these were made.  (MLOs: MLO 2, 3, 4; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).

Research Paper Assignment

The student will write a topic-oriented paper that delves more deeply into a mathematical area of interest.  Primarily, the goal will be to develop and explain a topic at the level of an advanced high school class.  It should include mathematics beyond basic high school math, but should include illustrations and examples that make the subject understandable.  Secondarily, the paper needs to include a significant historical narrative of how and why the mathematics were originally developed.  Prior to completion, an outline will be submitted to give the student preliminary feedback and direction from the professor. Paper must be APA and 6-10 pages long. (MLOs: MLO 1, 2, 3, 4; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).