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Hands on History

Amy Shell-Gellasch, editor

Ebook Version FREE to MAA Members

This MAA Notes volume is free to MAA members as part of your Member Only eBook Library. You must log in on the MAA website to access the free Member Only eBook Library. Click on the LOGIN button at the top of the page and log in using your user name and password. The Member Library is located in the left-hand column under My Profile.

Hands on History 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. Some of the items included in this volume are: sundials, planimeters, Napier’s Bones, linkages, cycloid clock, a labyrinth, and an apparatus that demonstrates the brachistocrone in the classroom.

Research shows that students learn best when, as opposed to imply listening or reading, they actively participate in their learning. In particular, hands-on activities provide the greatest opportunities for gaining understanding and promoting retention. Apart from simple manipulatives, the mathematics classroom offers a few options or hands-on activities. However, the history of mathematics offers many ways to incorporate hands-on learning into the mathematics classroom. Prior to computer modeling, many aspects of mathematics and its applications were explored and realized through mechanical models and devices. By bringing this material culture of mathematics into the classroom, students can experience historical applications and uses of mathematics in a setting rich in discovery and intellectual interest.

Whether replicas of historical devices or models used to represent a topic from the history of mathematics, using models of a historical nature allows students to combine three important areas of their education: mathematics and mathematical reasoning; mechanical and spatial reasoning and manipulation; and evaluation of historical versus contemporary mathematical techniques.

Electronic ISBN: 9780883859766

  PDF Price   POD Price  
Hands on History $31.50    
  Price per Chapter   Price per Chapter  
1. Learning from the Medieval Master Masons: A Geometric Journey through the Labyrinth $7.00 cart $9.00 pod shopping cart
2.Dem Bones Ain’t Dead: Napier’s Bones in the Classroom $7.00 cart $8.75 pod shopping cart
3. The Towers of Hanoi $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
4. Rectangular Protractors and the Mathematics Classroom $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
5. Was Pythagoras Chinese? $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
6. Geometric String Models of Descriptive Geometry $7.00 cart $8.75 pod shopping cart
7. The French Curve $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
8. Area Without Integration: Make Your Own Planimeter $7.00 cart $9.25 pod shopping cart
9. Historical Mechanisms for Drawing Curves $7.00 cart $9.00 pod shopping cart
10. Learning from the Roman Land Surveyors: A Mathematical Field Exercise $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
11. Equating the Sun: Geometry, Models, and Practical Computing in Greek Astronomy $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
12. Sundials: An Introduction to Their History, Design, and Construction $7.00 cart $8.75 pod shopping cart
13. Why is a Square Square and a Cube Cubical? $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
14. The Cycloid Pendulum Clock of Christiaan Huygens $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
15. Build a Brachistochrone and Captivate Your Class $7.00 cart $8.50 pod shopping cart
16. Exhibiting Mathematical Objects: Making Sense of your Department’s Material Culture $7.00 cart $8.75 pod shopping cart


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