You are here


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

From Riemann to Lebesgue

Almanac and mathematical problem-and-solution source in Hanoverian England

… per Theon and Nicomachus

Introduce an ancient method in your linear algebra class.

Use an abacus to solve 300-year-old problems from the Taisei Sankei.

100+ years of discovery and rediscovery, plus 'how-to's, to pique your students' interest

... in which students connect Euler's sequence and series for e

Construct geometric figures following 'rules of the cord' for altar construction.

... for students who "don't like math" and/or "can't do math"!

History of the now ubiquitous classroom tool

Development and naming of these important tools

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

... of functions in works of Bachmann, Landau, and Hardy arose out of scientific trend to classify objects of study

The functional approach of circle trigonometry is the historical approach!