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Welcome to Convergence! This MAA publication offers a wealth of resources to help you teach mathematics using its history.

Make Convergence your source for math history and its use in teaching!


Mathematical Treasures

  • Completing the square in a manuscript copy of Al-Khwarizmi's 9th century algebra text

  • Finding heights in Galileo's Geometrical Compass (1640)

  • Title page of Galileo's Geometrical Compass (1640)

  • Spiral from Albrecht Durer's geometry book (1538)

  • Ellipse from Albrecht Durer's geometry book (1538)

  • Title page of Cardano's Ars Magna (1545)

  • From a 1650 copy of the 12th century Lilavati of Bhaskara II

  • Title page of Simon Jacob's Rechenbuch (1565 edition)

  • Finger counting in Luca Pacioli's Summa de arithmetica (1494)

  • "Allegory of Arithmetic" from Gregor Reisch's Margarita Philosophica (1503)

  • English tally stick from 1296 is marked William de Costello, Sheriff of London.

  • This large English tally stick was used as a receipt.

  • Notched wooden English tally sticks served as receipts.

  • German brass protractor with Baroque decoration from about 1700

  • Nested Austrian weights are elaborately decorated and marked 1787.

  • This Italian astrolabe was constructed by Bernard Sabeus of Padua in 1558.

  • Da Vinci's stellated dodecahedron in Pacioli's Divina proportione (1509)

  • Completing the square in a manuscript copy of Al-Khwarizmi's 9th century algebra text

  • Thomas Digges used a quadrant to measure the height of a tower in his Pantometria (1571).

  • Peter Apian's A Geographical Introduction (1534) applied geometry and trigonometry.

  • Peter Apian's device for computing sines in his Instrumentum sinuum (1534)

  • Peacock and snake problem from 1650 copy of the 12th century Lilavati of Bhaskara II

  • Kepler's sketch of the apparent retrograde motion of Mars in Astronomia Nova (1609)

  • Kepler compared planetary motion per Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe in Astronomia Nova (1609).

  • Title page of Johannes Kepler's Astronomia Nova (1609) based on Brahe's data

  • Notched wooden tally sticks used to record financial transactions in England (1296)

  • Late 19th century Korean wooden computing rods or sangi

  • This 15th century Italian compass and ruler converted Roman units to other units in use at the time.

  • Italian armillary sphere (1550): mechanical model of universe showing circular orbits of planets

Featured Items

Use your next Sudoku solution to solve an early 17th century puzzle from Istanbul.

Modern applets illustrate ancient Greek methods for doubling the cube.

... from his 1637 'Geometry' and illustrated with interactive applets

... in medieval Sanskrit arithmetic texts and your classroom.

A poem in the voice of the famous astronomer reminiscing in old age about Newton's Principia

Adapting Euclid's proof of the Pythagorean Theorem to shapes other than squares

Oldest known sources for stories about Thales & interactive demos of methods attributed to him

Geometry of altar construction in ancient India, with interactive illustrations

Enrich your classroom with historical approaches to solving ODEs

Geometric approaches to quadratic equations from 1700 BCE to the present

Use Pascal's and Fermat's unfinished game problem to teach both probability and persistence

Biography of Byrne and tips for using his 'Euclid in Colours' in class