You are here

NCTM 2008 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City


The following are some of the sessions devoted to the history of mathematics.  For more information, consult the program book for the meeting.

Thursday, Apr 10 

11:00am - 12:00n

History of Mathematics in the Classroom: How to Make It Work  (6-12 Session)

Lead Speaker: Lisa Lavelle (District of Columbia Fellows for the Advancement of Mathematics Education)

Co-Speaker: Kathryn Procope (District of Columbia Fellows for the Advancement of Mathematics Education)

Co-Speaker: Mia Abeles (District of Columbia Fellows for the Advancement of Mathematics Education)

Co-Speaker: Gina McGovern (District of Columbia Fellows for the Advancement of Mathematics Education)

Co-Speaker: Elaine Abbas (District of Columbia Fellows for the Advancement of Mathematics Education)

How do you pronounce Al-Khwarizmi? Interested in African American hair weaving and patterns? Eager to sing about Copernicus? Who is the father of modern algebra? We will discuss all this and more in a fun-filled session!

11:00am - 12:00n

The Mona Lisa, The DaVinci Code, and Standards-Based Mathematics Teaching  (Higher Education Session)

Speaker: Richelle (Rikki) Blair (Lakeland Community College, Kirtland, Ohio; American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges)

Lessons can be learned from Leonardo da Vinci about the mathematics of art and the art of mathematics teaching. This session will explore how DaVinci's modus operandi can give clues to guide the teaching of standards-based mathematics.

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Fibonacci, the Golden Rectangle, and Connections (9-12 Session)

Speaker: Janice Shultz (Northwood High School)

This session will explore the unexpected connections among the Fibonacci sequence, the golden triangle, the golden rectangle, and regular pentagons. The talk will feature some algebra, lots of geometry, and some constructions.


3:00pm - 4:30pm

Tour de Pythagoras, Archimedes, and Euclid with The Geometer's Sketchpad®, Powerpoint®, and a Digital Camera (9-12 Gallery Workshop)

Lead Speaker: Armando M. Martinez-Cruz (California State University at Fullerton)

Co-Speaker: Paul Sexton (Buena Park High School)

Co-Speaker: Greg Love (Buena Park High School)

We will revisit antique (but current) Greek mathematics with modern technology for state-of-the-art teaching and learning of geometry. Ideas for implementation, handouts, and CDs will be provided.


Friday, Apr 11  

8:00am - 9:00am

Historical Topics in Mathematics: Patterns on Pascal's Triangle (9-12 Session)

Lead Speaker: Jim Fulmer (University of Arkansas at Little Rock)

Co-Speaker: Suzanne Mitchell (Arkansas State University)

To showcase Pascal's Triangle and Pyramid the new NCTM publication celebrating 100 Years of Mathematics Teacher, several patterns will be illustrated from arithmetic, set theory, algebra, geometry, and more,


8:30am - 10:00am

Hands-On Methods of Solving Quadratic Equations by Completing the Square (9-12 Gallery Workshop)

Speaker: Natalya Vinogradova (Plymouth State University)

This workshop will describe and demonstrate a set of hands-on activities that help students build connections between algebraic procedures and formulas leading to the solutions of quadratic equations and their geometric meanings.

8:30am - 10:00am

Developing Number Sense and Algebraic Thinking through Subbases Using Kaktovik Numerals (Teachers of Teachers Gallery Workshop)

Lead Speaker: William Clark Bartley (Hunter High School)

Co-Speaker: Claudette Engblom-Bradley (University of Alaska Anchorage)

This session will explore a Native American counting system (base 20, subbase 5), which invites students to experiment with numbers and motivates them to develop math curiosity, number sense, and algebraic thinking.

10:30am - 12:00pm

Making Connections to Social Studies through Game Theory (9-12 Gallery Workshop)

Speaker: Timothy V. Craine (Central Connecticut State University)

The mathematics for which John Nash won the Nobel Prize engages and motivates students. Hands-on activities develop key concepts; applications to military strategy, bargaining, and environmental problems; and the famous game Prisoner's Dilemma.

10:30am - 12:00n

Discovering the Mathematics in the Games of Other Cultures (General Interest)

Lead Speaker: Chadd McGlone (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Co-Speaker: India Blair Evans (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Children in various cultures learn mathematics through the games that they play. Participants will play some of those games, discover the mathematics in them, and learn about the people who play these games. Resources will be provided.

11:00am - 12:00n

Did the Babylonians Know the Secant Method in 1-D? (Higher Education Session)

Speaker: Joanna Papakonstantinou (Rice University)

Many believe that the secant method arose out of using a finite-difference approximation of the derivative in Newton's method. The speaker will present a historical development of the secant method in 1-D beginning with examples from the 18th century B.C.

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Historical Topics from Number Theory  (6-8 Session)

Speaker: Marian C. Fox (Kennesaw State University)

From Pythagoras to Tao, in a trip through time, we will explore some highlights in the development of the field of number theory. Learn ways to incorporate history into your middle grades mathematics lessons!

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Math's Magical Numbers (3-5 Session)

Speaker: Nancy Jean Budner (Central Washington University)

We will examine the properties of the magical numbers 0 and 1, two of the most historically important and yet misunderstood concepts in mathematics. They are so essential that both teachers and students must be aware of their significance.


1:00pm - 2:30pm

Ethnomathematics in Your Classroom: Practical Suggestions (6-8 Gallery Workshop)

Lead Speaker: Lawrence Hoyt Shirley (Towson University)

Co-Speaker: Fredrick Silverman (University of Northern Colorado)

Co-Speaker: Claudette Engblom-Bradley (University of Alaska Anchorage)

Ethnomathematical examples may seem difficult to translate into classroom use. We offer practical suggestions for using ethnomathematical examples in classroom situations. Examples come from the Americas, Africa, and more.


1:00pm - 2:30pm

Islamic Art through the Eyes of M. C. Escher (General Interest)

Speaker: Carol D. Desoe (Scarsdale High School)

Discover how Escher was inspired by tessellating patterns from Spain and the Islamic world. Participants will learn how to construct underlying triangular and square grids, identify patterns, and create Escher-like designs.


2:00pm - 3:00pm

A Cooperative Math Classroom: Mixing History with Math (6-8 Session)

Speaker: Daniel Lawrence Fisher (Berkeley Preparatory School)

This session will be about increasing collaboration in your classroom. The idea behind this session is to bring history and mathematics together to make the lessons more relevant for the students.


3:00pm - 4:30pm

Pythagoras! Cut It Out! (9-12 Gallery Workshop)

Lead Speaker: Halcyon Jean Foster (San Jose State University)

Co-Speaker: James Hahn (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)

This workshop will model three interactive proofs (Bhaskara's, tile, and similar triangles) of the Pythagorean theorem through paper-cutting activities. These activities will emphasize a visual and conceptual understanding of the Pythagorean theorem.

Saturday, April 12

8:00am - 9:00am

The Mathematics of The DaVinci Code and Other Dan Brown Novels (6-8 Session)

Speaker: Scott D. Oliver (Adlai E. Stevenson High School)

The mathematics in Dan Brown's novels will be illustrated and discussed: cryptography, the geometry and math of the golden ratio, Fibonacci numbers, symmetry, perspective geometry in art, the mathematics of Leonardo and his inventions, and much more.

9:30am - 10:30am

Archimedes and the Emergence of Pi    (9-12 Session)

Speaker: Edward Knote (Broward County Public Schools)

Return to a time circa 250 B.C. and watch pi emerge, infusing Archimedes' method with today's technology. With the use of spreadsheets and GeoGebra (free dynamic geometry software), pi will come alive for you and your students.


10:00am - 11:30am

From Manipulatives to Geometry, Algebra, and Technology: Solving an Ancient Optimization Problem (9-12 Gallery Workshop)

Speaker: Elizabeth Gasque (Consultant)

Use manipulatives, geometry, algebra, data analysis, and technology to solve an optimization problem posed in the first century A.D. The TI-Nspire will be used to construct a model of the problem and analyze data.

10:00am - 11:30am

Trisect an Angle and Double a Cube   (General Interest)

Speaker: Lowell F. Lynde, Jr. (University of Arkansas at Monticello)

Participants will have the opportunity to construct special instruments to solve two famous problems in the history of mathematics. We will discuss why these tools actually solve these famous "impossible" problems.

12:00pm - 1:30pm

From Plato to Leonardo: Geometric Constructions for the High School Classroom (9-12 Gallery Workshop)

Speaker: Elaine Krajenke Ellison (West Lafayette High School (Retired))

Bring a straightedge, compass, and scissors to investigate Plato's dissection, Leonardo's curvelinear shape, Leonardo's claw, a Mascheroni construction, and others. These constructions are the basis for quilt patterns that will accompany the workshop.

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Be Certain: We Can Learn How to Teach Mathematics from Its History (Higher Education Session)

Speaker: Greisy Winicki Landman (California State Polytechnic University Pomona)

A variety of problems from different cultures and times will be exposed. The participants will experience genuine opportunities to discuss deep mathematical ideas, and they will leave with material ready to be used in their classrooms.

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Mysteries and Histories of Pi (General Interest)

Speaker: Janet Elizabeth Teeguarden (Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana)

Participants will Risk knowledge of pi in a fun game as they learn fascinating information about the only topic that has continued to captivate mathematicians for over 4000 years. Risk can be adapted to any classroom topic. Bibliography provided.


"NCTM 2008 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City," Convergence (April 2008)