The Enigmatic Number [i]e:[/i] A History in Verse and Its Uses in the Mathematics Classroom - Introduction

Sarah Glaz (University of Connecticut)

In this article we present a history of e in verse—an annotated poem: "The Enigmatic Number e." The annotation consists of hyperlinks leading to biographies of the mathematicians appearing in the poem, and to explanations of the mathematical notions and ideas presented in the poem. The intention is to celebrate the history of this venerable number in verse, and to put the mathematical ideas connected with it in historical and artistic context. The poem may also be used by educators in any mathematics course in which the number e appears, and those are as varied as e's multifaceted history. The sections following the poem provide suggestions and resources for the use of the poem as a pedagogical tool in a variety of mathematics courses. They also place these suggestions in the context of other efforts made by educators in this direction by briefly outlining the uses of historical mathematical poems for teaching mathematics at the high school and college levels.