This volume is a compilation of articles from researchers and educators who use the history of mathematics to facilitate active learning in the classroom. The contributions range from simple devices such as the rectangular protractor that can be made in a geometry classroom, to elaborate models of descriptive geometry that can be used as a major project in a college mathematics course. Other chapters contain detailed descriptions on how to build and use historical models in the high school or collegiate mathematics classroom.
Table of Contents
Learning from the Medieval Master Masons: A Geometric Journey through the Labyrinth
Dem Bones Ain’t Dead: Napier’s Bones in the Classroom The Towers of Hanoi
Rectangular Protractors and the Mathematics Classroom Was Pythagoras Chinese?
Geometric String Models of Descriptive Geometry
The French Curve
Area Without Integration: Make Your Own Planimeter
Historical Mechanisms for Drawing Curves
Learning from the Roman Land Surveyors: A Mathematical Field Exercise
Equating the Sun: Geometry, Models, and Practical Computing in Greek Astronomy
Sundials: An Introduction to Their History, Design, and Construction
Why is a Square Square and A Cube Cubical?
The Cycloid Pendulum Clock of Christiaan Huygens
Build a Brachistorchrone and Captivate Your Class
Exhibiting Mathematical Objects: Making Sense of your Department’s Material Culture
About the Authors
About the Editor
Amy Shell-Gellasch is currently a Faculty Fellow at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. A native of Birmingham, Michigan, she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1989, her master’s degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan in 1995, and her doctor of arts degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000. Her dissertation was a biographical piece on mathematician Mina Rees and excerpted for the Mathematical Monthly. Most recently, she conducted research with V. Fredrick Rickey on the history of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the United States Military Academy, where she was an Assistant Professor. She has edited two previous volumes: Proceedings of the HUMA Conference, West Point, NY, 2001; From Calculus to Computers with Dick Jardine, MAA, 2005. She is widely involved with the community of math historians through her work in the HOM SIGMAA, CSHPM, and the MAA. She helped found the History of Mathematics Special Interest Group of the MAA (HOM SIGMAA), and has been an executive member of the organization since its inception. In her second term as Programs Chairperson, she organizes all sessions and meetings of the HOM SIGMAA. She initiated and runs the HOM SIGMAA Student Paper contest. Dr. Shell-Gellasch currently chairs the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs, as well as serving on the MAA Study tour Committee, the Spectrum Editorial Board and the ad-hoc committee on the Modern Women in Mathematics poster.