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ABOUT Website on History of Mathematics

Author(s): 
Lawrence Shirley, reviewer

The ABOUT website  is a sprawling collection of links and information on a large collection of topics from “Automotive” to “Health and Fitness” to “Parenting”, “Shopping”, “Video Games”, and more.  One of the major categories is “Education,” which in turn has subcategories in nearly all school subjects, of course including “Mathematics.”    This level offers links to year-by-year goals, sample lesson plans, tutorials, and other materials that may be helpful to mathematics teachers at various levels.  Continuing down the chain, “Mathematicians” has some links on individual mathematicians and a few biographical collections.   Finally a link of “History” takes the web-searcher to the page of this review http://math.about.com/od/history.  Of course, it is easier to just use the URL to go directly to the page, but this path shows the nature of the material included.

The entire ABOUT website appears to offer much useful information and links to much more, but seems rather randomly selected and organized, giving a sense that the webmasters took whatever they happened to find.  This is also the impression one gets on the “History of Mathematics” page.  It has fourteen links with brief annotations, which range from three links to parts of the notable St. Andrews website (the chronology, the topics, the biographies) (see the Convergence review of this site)  to a student-written paper on Egyptian math.   Also, several course pages are included.   There are a couple links on specific topics, again seemingly selected without any criteria: Abacus, Game Theory, Mathematical Symbols, Famous Problems.

There are some valuable links on this website, but the overall site is simply too random to be very useful.

Lawrence Shirley, Professor of Mathematics, Towson University

 

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