Good history of mathematics is good research and writing. The various award committees of the Mathematical Association of America have frequently rewarded that good writing. The lists on the following pages highlight MAA award-winning articles and books on the history of mathematics. Most are hyperlinked to freely-available reprints. Enjoy perusing this high-quality, highly-readable scholarship!

**Carl B. Allendoerfer Award**

For expository articles published in MAA’s*Mathematics Magazine*.**Beckenbach Book Prize**

For the authors of distinguished, innovative books published by the MAA.**Chauvenet Prize**

For an outstanding expository article on a mathematical topic from any publisher.**Euler Book Prize**

For the authors of outstanding books about mathematics from any publisher.**Trevor Evans Award**

For exceptional articles that are accessible to undergraduates and published in MAA’s*Math Horizons*.**Paul R. Halmos – Lester R. Ford Award**

For outstanding expository papers in MAA’s*The American Mathematical Monthly*.**George Pólya Award**

For articles of expository excellence published in MAA’s*The College Mathematics Journal*.

To see all previous winners, visit the full list of MAA Awards. If you notice an omission in this article, please contact the editors.

For expository articles published in *Mathematics Magazine*.

William Dunham

The Early (and Peculiar) History of the Möbius Function

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 91, no. 2, March 2018, pp. 83–91.

Jordan Bell and Viktor Blåsjö

Pietro Mengoli’s 1650 Proof that the Harmonic Series Diverges

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 91, no. 5, December 2018, pp. 341–347.

Khristo N. Boyadzhiev

Close Encounters with the Stirling Numbers of the Second Kind

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 85, no. 4, October 2012, pp. 252–266.

Adrian Rice and Ezra (Bud) Brown

Why Ellipses Are Not Elliptic Curves

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 85, no. 3, June 2012, pp. 163–176.

Ezra (Bud) Brown and Keith Mellinger

Kirkman's Schoolgirls Wearing Hats and Walking Through Fields of Numbers

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 82, no. 1, February 2009, pp. 3–15.

Jeff Suzuki

A Brief History of Impossibility

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 81, no. 1, February 2008, pp. 27–38.

Chris Christensen

Polish Mathematicians Finding Patterns in Enigma Messages

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 80, no. 4 (2007), pp. 247–273.

Saul Stahl

The Evolution of the Normal Distribution

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 79, no. 2 (2006), pp. 96–113.

Jeff Suzuki

The Lost Calculus (1637–1670): Tangency and Optimization without Limits

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 78, no. 5 (2005), pp. 339–353.

Mark McKinzie and Curtis Tuckey

Higher Trigonometry, Hyperreal Numbers, and Euler's Analysis of Infinities

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 74, no. 5 (2001), pp. 339–368.

Donald Teets and Karen Whitehead

The Discovery of Ceres: How Gauss Became Famous

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 72, no. 2 (1999), pp. 83–91.

Judith Grabiner

Descartes and Problem-Solving

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 68, no. 2 (1995), pp. 83–97.

Lee Badger

Lazzarini's Lucky Approximation of π

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 67, no. 2 (1994), pp. 83–91.

Israel Kleiner

Rigor and Proof in Mathematics: A Historical Perspective

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 64, no. 5 (1991), pp. 291–314.

Ranjan Roy

The Discovery of the Series Formula for π by Leibniz, Gregory, and Nilakantha

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 63, no. 5 (1990), pp. 291–306.

Thomas Archibald

Connectivity and Smoke-Rings: Green's Second Identity in Its First Fifty Years

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 62, no. 4 (1989), pp. 219–232.

Judith V. Grabiner

The Centrality of Mathematics in the History of Western Thought

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 61, no. 4 (1988), pp. 220–230.

Israel Kleiner

The Evolution of Group Theory: A Brief Survey

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 59, no. 4 (1986), pp. 195–215.

Saul Stahl

The Other Map Coloring Theorem

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 58, no. 3 (1985), pp. 131–145.

Judith V. Grabiner

The Changing Concept of Change: The Derivative from Fermat to Weierstrass

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 56, no. 4 (1983), pp. 195–206.

Ernst Snapper

The Three Crises in Mathematics: Logicism, Intuitionism, and Formalism

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 52, no. 4 (1979), pp. 207–216.

Bruce C. Berndt

Ramanujan's Notebooks

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 51, no. 3 (1978), pp. 147–164.

David A. Smith

Human Population Growth: Stability or Explosion?

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 50, no. 4 (1977), pp. 186–197.

Joseph A. Gallian

The Search for Finite Simple Groups

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 49, no. 4 (1976), pp. 163–180.

B.L. van der Waerden

Hamilton's Discovery of Quaternions

*Mathematics Magazine*, Vol. 49, no. 5 (1976), pp. 227–234.

For the authors of distinguished, innovative books published by the MAA.

Seth Braver

*Lobachevski Illuminated*

MAA Spectrum, 2011.

Judith Grabiner

*A Historian Looks Back: The Calculus as Algebra and Selected Writings*

MAA Spectrum, 2010.

William Dunham

*Euler: The Master of Us All*

Dolciani Mathematical Expositions, 1999.

William P. Berlinghoff and Fernando Q. Gouvêa

*Math through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others*

The Mathematical Association of America & Oxton House Publishers, 2004.

David M. Bressoud

*Proofs and Confirmations, The Story of the Alternating Sign Matrix Conjecture*

MAA Spectrum, 1999.

Constance Reid

*The Search for E.T. Bell, Also Known as John Taine*

MAA Spectrum, 1993.

Thomas M. Thompson

*From Error-Correcting Codes through Sphere Packings to Simple Groups*

Carus Mathematical Monographs, Number 21, 1984.

For an outstanding expository article on a mathematical topic from any publisher.

Brian J. McCartin

e: The Master of All

*The Mathematical Intelligencer*, Vol. 28, no. 2, 2006, 10–21.

Harold P. Boas

Reflections on the Arbelos

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 113, no. 3, 2006, 236–249.

John Stillwell

The Story of the 120-Cell

*Notices of the AMS*, Vol. 48, no. 1, January 2001, pp. 17–24.

Thomas C. Hales

Cannonballs and Honeycombs

*Notices of the AMS*, Vol. 47, no. 4, April 2000, pp. 440–449.

Michael I. Rosen

Niels Hendrik Abel and Equations of the Fifth Degree

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 102, June–July 1995, pp. 495–505.

Tom Hawkins

The Birth of Lie's Theory of Groups

*Mathematical Intelligencer*, Vol. 16, 1994, pp. 6–17.

Donald G. Saari

A Visit to the Newtonian N-body Problem Via Elementary Complex Variables

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 97, February 1990, pp. 105–119.

David H. Bailey, Jonathan M. Borwein and Peter B. Borwein

Ramanujan, Modular Equations, and Approximations to Pi, or, How to Compute One Billion Digits of Pi

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 96, March 1989, pp. 201–219.

George Miel

Of Calculations Past and Present: The Archimedean Algorithm

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 90, January 1983, pp. 17–35.

Shreeram S. Abhyankar

Historical Ramblings in Algebraic Geometry and Related Algebra

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 83, June–July 1976, pp. 409–448.

M.D. Davis and Reuben Hersh

Hilbert's 10th Problem

*Scientific American*, Vol. 229, no. 5, 1973, pp. 84–91.

C.D. Olds

The Simple Continued Fraction Expansion of* e*

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 77, November 1970, pp. 968–974.

Philip J. Davis

Leonhard Euler's Integral: An Historical Profile of the Gamma Function

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 66, December 1959, pp. 849–869.

For the authors of outstanding books about mathematics from any publisher.

Ian Stewart

*In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations that Changed the World*

Basic Books, New York, 2012.

David S. Richeson

*Euler’s Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology*

Princeton University Press, 2008.

Siobhan Roberts

*King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, the Man Who Saved Geometry*

Walker and Company, New York, 2006.

Benjamin H. Yandell

*The Honors Class. Hilbert's Problems and Their Solvers*

AK Peters, Natick, MA, 2002.

John Derbyshire

*Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics*

Joseph Henry Press (National Academies Press), 2003.

For exceptional articles that are accessible to undergraduates and published in *Math Horizons*.

Randy K. Schwartz

The Birth of the Meter

*Math Horizons*, September 2008, pp. 14–17, 31.

William Dunham

Euler’s Amicable Numbers

*Math Horizons*, November 2007, pp. 5–7.

Adrian Rice and Eve Torrence

Lewis Carroll's Condensation Method for Evaluating Determinants

*Math Horizons*, November 2006, pp. 12–15.

Ronald Barnes and Linda Becerra

The Evolution of Mathematical Certainty

*Math Horizons*, September 2005, pp. 13–17.

Douglas Dunham

A Tale Both Shocking and Hyperbolic

*Math Horizons*, April 2003, pp. 22–26.

Hugh McCague

A Mathematical Look at a Medieval Cathedral

*Math Horizons*, April 2003, pp. 11–15, 31.

Peter Schumer

The Magician of Budapest

*Math Horizons*, April 1999, pp. 5–9.

Ravi Vakil

The Youngest Tenured Professor in Harvard History

*Math Horizons*, September 1998, pp. 8–12.

Tom M. Apostol

What Is the Most Surprising Result in Mathematics?

*Math Horizons*, February 1997, pp. 26–31.

William Dunham

1996-—A Triple Anniversary

*Math Horizons*, September 1996, pp. 8–13.

Joel Chan

As Easy as Pi

*Math Horizons*, Winter 1993, pp. 18–19.

Underwood Dudley

Why History?

*Math Horizons*, November 1994, pp. 10–11.

For outstanding expository papers in *The American Mathematical Monthly*.

Adrian Rice

Partnership, Partition, and Proof: The Path to the Hardy-Ramanujan Partition Formula

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 125, no. 1, January 2018, pp. 3–15.

Jonathan M. Borwein and Robert M. Corless

Gamma and Factorial in the Monthly

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 125, no. 5, May 2018, pp. 400–424.

Deborah Kent and David Muraki

A Geometric Solution of a Cubic by Omar Khayyam ... in Which Colored Diagrams Are Used Instead of Letters for the Greater Ease of Learners

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 123, no. 2, February 2016, pp. 149–160.

Manya Raman-Sundström

A Pedagogical History of Compactness

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 122, no. 7, August-September 2015, pp. 619–635.

David A. Cox

Why Eisenstein Proved the Eisenstein Criterion and Why Schönemann Discovered It First

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 118, no. 1, January 2011, pp. 3–21.

Marvin Jay Greenberg

Old and New Results in the Foundations of Elementary Plane Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometries

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 117, no. 3, March 2010, pp. 198–219.

James T. Smith

Definitions and Nondefinability in Geometry

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 117, no. 6, June 2010, pp. 475–489.

Judith Grabiner

Why Did Lagrange 'Prove' the Parallel Postulate?

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 116, no. 1, January 2009, pp. 3–18.

Bob Palais, Richard Palais, and Stephen Rodi

A Disorienting Look at Euler's Theorem on the Axis of a Rotation

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 116, no. 10, December 2009, pp. 892–909.

Harold P. Boas

Reflections on the Arbelos

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 113, March 2006, pp. 236–249.

William Dunham

Touring the Calculus Gallery

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 112, January 2005, pp. 1–19.

Viktor Blåsjö

The Evolution of the Isoperimetric Problem

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 112, June-July 2005, pp. 526–566.

Judith Grabiner

Newton, Maclaurin, and the Authority of Mathematics

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 111, December 2004, pp. 841–852.

Ruediger Thiele

Hilbert’s Twenty-Fourth Problem

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 110, January 2003, pp. 1–24.

Warren P. Johnson

The Curious History of Faa du Bruno's Formula

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 109, 2002, pp. 217–234.

Eleanor Robson

Words and Pictures: New Light on Plimpton 322

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 109, 2002, pp. 105–120.

David Lindsay Roberts

Moore's Early Twentieth-Century Program for Reform in Mathematics Education

*The American Mathematical Monthly*,Vol. 108, October 2001, pp. 689–696.

Judith V. Grabiner

Was Newton's calculus a dead end? The continental influence of Maclaurin's Treatise of Fluxions

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 104, May 1997, pp. 393–410.

Bruce Pourciau

Reading the Masters: Newton and the birth of celestial mechanics

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 104, January 1997, pp. 1–19.

Robert Gray

Georg Cantor and transcendental numbers

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 101, November 1994, pp. 819–832.

I. Kleiner and N. Movshovitz-Hadar

The role of paradoxes in the evolution of mathematics

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 101, December 1994, pp. 963–974.

William C. Waterhouse

A counterexample for Germain

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 101, February 1994, pp. 140–150.

Bruce C. Berndt and S. Bhargava

Ramanujan—for lowbrows

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 100, August–September 1993, pp. 644–656.

Edgar R. Lorch (Reuben Hersh, editor)

Szeged in 1934

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 100, March 1993, pp. 219–230.

Gert Almkvist and Bruce Berndt

Gauss, Landen, Ramanujan, the arithmetic-geometric mean, ellipses, pi and the Ladies Diary

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 95, August–September 1988, pp. 585–608.

Stuart S. Antman

Book Review of A Convergence of Lives, Sofia Kovalevskaia: scientist, writer, revolutionary, by A. Hibner Koblitz

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 93, February 1986, pp. 139–144.

Jacob Korevaar

Bieberbach's conjecture and its proof by Louis de Branges

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 93, August–September 1986, pp. 505–514.

Judith Grabiner

Who gave you the epsilon? Cauchy and the origins of rigorous calculus

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 90, March 1983, pp. 185–194.

Tony Rothman

Genius and Biographers: The Fictionalization of Evariste Galois

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 89, February 1982, pp. 84–106.

R. Creighton Buck

Sherlock Holmes in Babylon

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 87, May 1980, pp. 335–345.

Desmond Fearnley-Sander

Hermann Grassmann and the creation of linear algebra

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol 86, December 1979, pp. 809–817.

Shreeram Abhyankar

Historical ramblings in algebraic geometry and related algebra

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 83, June–July 1976, pp. 409–448.

William P. Ziemer, William H. Wheeler, S.H. Moolgavkar, Paul R. Halmos, John H. Ewing and William H. Gustafson

American mathematics from 1940 to the day before yesterday

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 83, August–September 1976, pp. 503–516.

Raymond Ayoub

Euler and the zeta function

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 81, December 1974, pp. 1067–1086.

Lynn A. Steen

Highlights in the history of spectral theory

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 80, April 1973, pp. 359–381.

Jean A. Dieudonné

The historical development of algebraic geometry

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 79, October 1972, pp. 827–866.

Thomas L. Saaty

Thirteen colorful variations on Guthrie's four-color conjecture

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 79, January 1972, pp. 2–43.

R. L. Wilder

History in the mathematics curriculum: Its status, equality, and function

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 79, May 1972, pp. 479–495.

Jean A. Dieudonné

The work of Nicholas Bourbaki

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 77, February 1970, pp. 134–145.

Henry L. Alder

Partition identities—from Euler to the present

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 76, September 1969, pp. 733–746.

William A. Coppel

J.B. Fourier—on the occasion of his two hundredth birthday

*The American Mathematical Monthly*, Vol. 76, May 1969, pp. 468–483.

For articles of expository excellence published in *The College Mathematics Journal*.

Peter McGrath

Newton’s Shell Theorem via Archimedes’ Hat Box and Single Variable Calculus

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 49, no. 2, March 2018, pp. 109–113.

Ben Blum-Smith and Samuel Coskey

Fundamental Theorem on Symmetric Polynomials: History’s First Whiff of Galois Theory

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 48, no. 1, January 2017, pp. 18–29.

Viktor Blåsjö

How to Find the Logarithm of Any Number Using Nothing But a Piece of String

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 47, no. 2, March 2016, pp. 95–100.

Adam E. Parker

Who Solved the Bernoulli Differential Equation and How Did They Do It?

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 44, no. 2, March 2013, pp. 89–97.

John Martin

The Helen of Geometry

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 41, no. 1, January 2010, pp. 17–27.

Ezra (Bud) Brown

Phoebe Floats!

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 36, no. 2, March 2005, pp. 114–122.

Brian Hopkins and Robin J. Wilson

The Truth About Königsberg

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 35, no. 3, May 2004, pp. 198–207.

Ezra (Bud) Brown

Three Fermat Trails to Elliptic Curves

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 31, no. 3, May 2000, pp. 162–172.

Ezra (Bud) Brown

Square Roots From 1; 24, 51, 10 to Dan Shanks

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 30, no. 2, March 1999, pp. 82–95.

Chris Christensen and Shreeram S. Abhyankar

Newton’s Method for Resolving Affected Equations

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 27, no. 5, November 1996), pp. 330–340.

Anthony P. Ferzola

Euler and Differentials

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 25, no. 2, March 1994, pp. 102–111.

Howard Eves

Two Surprising Theorems on Cavalieri Congruence

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 22, no. 2, March 1991, pp. 118–124.

William Dunham

Euler and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 22, no. 4, September 1991, pp. 282–293.

Israel Kleiner

Evolution of the Function Concept: A Brief Survey

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 20, 1989, pp. 282–300.

V. Frederick Rickey

Isaac Newton: Man, Myth, and Mathematics

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 18, 1987, pp. 362–389.

Constance Reid

The Autobiography of Julia Robinson

*The College Mathematics Journal*, Vol. 17, 1986, pp. 2–21.