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Welcome to Convergence! This MAA publication offers a wealth of resources to help you teach mathematics using its history.

Make Convergence your source for math history and its use in teaching!


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

Student activities that combine data collection with astronomical measurement methods due to Eratosthenes, Ptolemy and Galileo

A student project for beginning algebra, based on a source by al-Khwārizmī

Our third puzzle by a math professor and a professional puzzle-maker!

A case where not simplifying fractions explains a curious rule for computing cube roots from medieval Arabic mathematics, with student exercises.

A classroom project based on Euler's 1740 solution of the Basel Problem

Recognition of Convergence's former editors, and a brief history of the journal.

Essay on the justifications for using history to teach mathematics.

An English translation of and readers' guide to a paper related to an debate on numerical integration.

Winning paper from 2019's HOMSIGMAA student contest.

A student project based on a paper by John Henry Smith about integration and nowhere dense sets

The article provides examples of ephemera, a sample analysis of one piece of ephemera, and suggestions for incorporating this form of primary source into mathematics classrooms.

Notational symbols used by authors of the 17th and 18th centuries.

A rich resource for teachers interested in bringing history to their classrooms.

Classroom project in which students examine the origins of the Prime Number Theorem