A History-of-Mathematics Course for Teachers, Based on Great Quotations



Courses in the history of mathematics have been proposed based on great theorems and great problems (Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics, 1990; Learn Math 6(1):31–38, 1986; Am Math Mon 99:313–317, 1992). Here we outline a course in the history of mathematics with “great” quotations as points of departure. These three “greats” have in common a number of important pedagogical features: they are interesting, they arouse curiosity, and they display, or lead to, important aspects of the mathematical enterprise. Moreover, the quotations (like the theorems and the problems) cajole, exasperate, stimulate, motivate, seduce, amuse – all welcome didactic traits. Perhaps more importantly, they are guideposts around which one may structure the development of a concept, a result, or a theory.


Mathematical Discovery Foundational Issue Finite Projective Plane Great Theorem Kepler Conjecture 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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