Vita Mathematica: Historical Research and Integration with Teaching

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Ronald Calinger
Cambridge University Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Mathematics - 359 pages
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Vita Mathematica will enable teachers to learn the relevant history of various topics in the undergraduate curriculum and help them incorporate this history in their teaching. It contains articles dealing not only with calculus, but also with algebra, combinatorics, graph theory, and geometry, as well as more general articles on teaching courses for prospective teachers, and describes courses taught entirely using original sources. Judith Grabiner shows us how two important eighteenth century mathematicians, Colin Maclaurin and Joseph-Louis Lagrange, understood the calculus from these different standpoints and how their legacy is still important in teaching calculus today. We learn from Hans Nils Jahnke why Lagrange's algebraic approach dominated teaching in Germany in the nineteenth century. Wilbur Knorr traces the ancient history of one of the possible foundations, the concept of indivisibles. This volume demonstrates that the history of mathematics is no longer tangential to the mathematics curriculum, but in fact deserves a central role.
  

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Contents

From the Scientific Revolution to the Present
113
An Explanation Ubiratan DAmbrosio
245
The Necessity of History in Teaching Mathematics V Frederick Rickey
251
Teaching with Original Sources
257
Measuring an Arc of Meridian Marie Frangoise Jozeau and Michele Gregoire
269
African Origins of False Position Solutions
279
Origins and Teaching of Calculus
301
Barrows Theorem Martin Flashman
309
The History of the Concept of Function and Some Implications for Classroom Teaching
317
How Many People Ever Lived? James Tattersall
331
Notes on Contributors
339
Index
345
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