
This page has been designed as a means to support my History of Mathematics
(MA 330) students.
This page will be periodically updated and it will eventually
contain, in addition to general information
(see the syllabus), weekly announcements and homework assignments.
Obviously my webpage will only be helpful if I get feedback:
What kind of stuff should be posted and in what form?
Just as important: Got a topic or problem that should be discussed
in class? Send it over!


Syllabus


Warning:
The material I discuss in class strives to expand as much as possible
along the lines of what is explained in the short and condensed book by D.J. Struik.
I am particularly interested in adding as much mathematical content
as possible to each topic discussed. For these reasons,
my class notes are a synthesis of several different sources...not just our textbook.
In case you are having trouble in taking notes or following
the pace of the lectures, I am posting below a copy of my notes.
They are in *.pdf format. These notes should serve you as a guideline of what
I have covered in class. They are by no means containing all the details of what
I explained in class. They are written for myself and they are at times rather sketchy.
Needless to say, the notes are hard to follow if you have not been to class
(especially when I add lots of mathematical content and/or proofs).
So...please, don't skip class!

January 11, 2006 (questionnaire)

January 13, 2006 (lecture 1)

January 16, 2006 (Martin Luther King's Day)

January 18, 2006 (lecture 2)

January 20, 2006 (lecture 3)

January 23, 2006 (lecture 4)

January 25, 2006 (lecture 5)

January 27, 2006 (quiz #1)
click here for a study guide for quiz #1

January 30, 2006 (lecture 6)

February 1 & 3, 2006 (lecture 7 & 8)
inclass presentation on Hippocrates and the quadrature of lunes
(For those of you who got interested and are curious about this topic:
Additional reading  The Five Squarable Lunes)

February 6, 2006 (lecture 9)

February 8, 2006 (lecture 10)

February 10, 2006 (lecture 11)

February, 13 2006 (quiz #2)
click here
for a study guide for quiz #2

February 15, 2006 (lecture 12)

February 17, 2006 (lecture 13)

February 20, 2006 (lecture 14)

February 22, 2006 (lecture 15)

February 24, 2006 (lecture 16)

February 27, 2006 (quiz #3)
click here
for a study guide for quiz #3

March 1, 2006 (lecture 17)

March 3, 2006 (lecture 18)

March 6, 2006 (lecture 19)

March 8, 2006 (lecture 20)

March 10, 2006 (lecture 21)

March 1317, 2006 (Spring Break)

March 20, 2006 (lecture 22)

March 22 & 24, 2006 (lecture 23 &
24)
inclass presentation on Archimedes' determination of circular areas
(Austin Cornett, Erin Loos and Ben Schadler)

March 27 & 29, 2006 (lecture 25 &
26)
inclass presentation on Heron's formula for triangular areas
(Kayla Gifford, Crystal Holcomb and Christy Williams)
nowadays proof using the law of cosines

March 31 & April 3, 2006 (lecture 27 &
28)
inclass presentation on Cardano and the solution of the cubic
(Bryan Dorsey, KerryLyn Downie and Marcus Huber)

Note!!!
On April 6, 2006 (Thursday), Professor
Robin Hartshorne from the
University of California at Berkeley will give a special colloquium talk
(see poster) on the history of imaginary numbers.
Location: Room 153  Chemistry and Physics Building
Time: 4:005:00pm (Pizza will be served at 5:00pm)

April 5 & 7, 2006 (lecture 29 &
30)
inclass presentation on Isaac Newton approximation of pi
(Sarah Riffe and Jennifer Watt)

April 10, 2006 (lecture 31)
inclass presentation on Research Methods for Math 330
(Tom Hecker, our Mathematics Librarian)

April 12 & 14, 2006 (lecture 32 &
33)
inclass presentation on The Bernoullis and the harmonic series
(Candice Cprek, Jamie Unseld and Stephanie Wendschlag)

April 17 & 19, 2006 (lecture 34 &
35)
inclass presentation on The extraordinary sums of Euler
(Aaron Boggs, Paul Jones and Jonathan Ross)

April 21 & 24, 2006 (lecture 36 &
37)
inclass presentation on Euler's refutation of Fermat's conjecture
(Kam Shing Chan, Hani Madback and Andrew Rast)

April 26 & 28, 2006 (lecture 38 &
39)
inclass presentation on Euler and complex variables
(Ashley Hank and Ben Hoh)


Interesting websites:


Special announcements:

On April 6, 2006 (Thursday), Professor
Robin Hartshorne from the
University of California at Berkeley will give a special colloquium talk
(see poster):
On the history of imaginary numbers.
Abstract:
At first, square roots of negative numbers were simply considered
impossible. But when Raffaele Bombelli in the mid16th century discovered
that he could obtain real solutions of certain cubic equations by
calculating with these impossible quantities, imaginary numbers started
being used, and gave many important results even while remaining
illogical. It was only at the beginning of the 19th century that the
theory could be justified rigorously, thanks to the work of Wessel,
Argand, Gauss, Cauchy and Hamilton.
Location: Room 153  Chemistry and Physics Building
Time: 4:005:00pm (Pizza will be served at 5:00pm)

On April 10, 2006 (Monday), Mr. Tom Hecker (our Mathematics Librarian) will give
an inclass presentation on Research Methods for MA 330.


Inclass presentations:
During the course of the semester I will ask students to give group presentations
(3 people per groups)
on the topics listed below. I will provide the sources from which to organize the presentation
(a key reference in this case will be the book by W. Dunham, Journey through Genius).

