History of Mathematics – MATH 545

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 02/09/2022

Course Description

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

At least one upper-division mathematics course.

It is the student’s responsibility to make up any prerequisite deficiencies, as stated in the Liberty University Catalog, which would prevent the successful completion of this course.

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.

Course Assignment

A. Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

B. Course Requirements Checklist

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

C. Homework (8)

The student will complete a homework assignment in each module 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.  (CLOs: CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).

D. Discussions (4)

Discussions give students the opportunity to debate issues arising from our historical survey, including the relevance of ancient contributions and the interplay of culture and mathematics.  Specifically, students are asked to consider and evaluate the impact of a Christian worldview on historical developments.  (CLOs: CLO 2, 3, 4FSLOs: TSQR 4).

E. Mathematician Reports (2)

Students will select two mathematicians and write 2 – 3 page papers that give a brief biographical sketch of each one.  Besides providing the highlights of their life, the paper will summarize their mathematical (and other) contributions.  Finally, each paper will include a mathematical section illustrating the genius of the subject of their report.  (CLOs: CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).

F. Research Paper (1)

Students 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 illustratrations and examples that make the subject understandable.  Secondarily, the paper needs to include a significant historical narrative of how and why the mathematics were originaly developed.  Prior to completion, an outline will be submitted to give the student preliminary feedback and direction from the professor.  (CLOs: CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; FSLOs: TSQR 1, 2).

G. Period Overview Videos (4)

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