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Convergence

Welcome to Convergence! This MAA publication offers a wealth of resources to help you teach mathematics using its history. Check Featured Items (below) for new articles, browse our archived articles in What's in Convergence? (Tables of Contents), and visit our recently completed Who's That Mathematician? The Paul R. Halmos Photograph Collection and our ever-expanding Mathematical Treasures and Mathematical Treasures II collections. Make MAA Convergence your source for mathematics history and its use in teaching!

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED

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

Children’s book author and painter Johnson's interest in doubling the cube

... newly translated here.

... to estimate nth roots

Survey includes both cyphering books and arithmetic texts.

To solve the cubic, Cardano relied on both abbaco and classical Greek geometric traditions. Follow his geometric thought visually.

About the brief life of Murphy (1806-43), with a transcript of his earliest printed work at age 18

Math modeling, finite & discrete math, calculus reform, & more

How Classic Maya people probably used knotted ropes to form desired geometric shapes in art and architecture

A collection of modules for teaching and learning by 'reading the masters'

A collection of images of historical texts and tools to share with your students

Here are all articles, classroom activities, and reviews arranged into annual volumes starting with 2004.

We invite you to send us information about these photographs of 20th century mathematicians.