An Introduction to the History of Mathematics
Instructor: Dr. A. Boumenir
Location: Monday, Wednesday 5:30-8:00, Boyd 301
Office: Boyd 321
Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-12:00 or by appointment
Text: The saga of mathematics, by Lewinter and Widulski, Prentice Hall, 2002.
Objective: This course is an introduction to the history of Mathematics and its development from prehistoric times through the late nineteenth century/early twentieth century. Emphasis is given to the Problem solving aspect of Mathematics and then to its history which includes key people, famous problems, cultural influences and contemporary mathematics.
TESTS: There will be two exams on September 22nd and November 17th. Each will count
100 points towards your final grade.
FINAL: The final is comprehensive and will be on Thursday December 15th at 5:00-7:00 and counts 200 pts.
HOMEWORK: Homework /quiz (WTL) will be assigned each week. Each assignment is worth 20 points
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: (WTC)
You must write a 5-7 page paper on a Problem and explain how its solution evolved with time. There are some ideas for topics in the text. You may also consult with me for topics. The deadlines for the various drafts are as follows:
TOPIC (10 points): Thursday, September 22nd
FIRST DRAFT (15 points): Thursday, October 6th
SECOND DRAFT (25 points): Thursday, October 20th
FINAL DRAFT (50 points): Thursday, November 17th
PRESENTATION Thursday December 1st
I will correct and grade the drafts for mathematical accuracy and major grammatical problems. The final draft should be free from any grammatical errors, which is your responsibility.
10-12 Quizzes/Homework (WTL exercises)
2 75-minute tests during class periods.
1 5-7 page paper to be presented
1 Comprehensive Final
The tests and final will include problems that use the methodology of the various eras studied, questions involving time lines, and essay questions that ask how the political, cultural, religious, and economical situations affected the Mathematics of the times and vice versa. (WTL exercises).
The presentation is part of the paper and judged on coherence and clarity of presentation as well as originality of topic. The write-up (a WTL exercise) will be 0-100 points and graded on clarity of style, grammar, and spelling. References are required. Hand written write-ups are not acceptable. A hard copy or an e-copy using MS-Word or a mutually acceptable word-processing file is expected.
Paper 5-7 pages in length (Illustrations and graphs not to be included in the page count) (WTC exercise).
The paper should be typed or printed. The text should be double spaced and using a 12pt font. Topics may be about people, problems, schools or controversies in mathematics and must have the instructors consent. The bibliography must include books, journal articles and Web addresses.
IMPORTANT: The paper must include at least one mathematical result with its proof and will be presented to class at the end of the semester.
The course grade is based on these 5 parts as follows:
GRADES: Your grade will be determined based on the following formula
TEST 200 points POINTS GRADE
PAPER 100 points 630-700 A
FINAL 200 points 560-630 B
HOMEWORK 100 points 490-560 C
Quizzes 100 points 420-490 D
TOTAL 700 points