Math History Links

some with brief reviews by my Math 531 classes

D. Joyce's site
(Clark Univ.)
D. Calvis's list Two with Original Sources:
One and another.
Abacus: The Art of Calculating with Beads Two on Egyptian Fractions:
Units and general
Jeff Oaks's
Islamic Math Bibliography
Some Famous Mathematicians

Arabic Numerals - A brief explanation of our numbers

An all encompassing Web site about Islam as well as the history of Arabs and the Middle East. A great source of not just history but about Islam. This is important for us to be educated about with all the tension in the world.

The page on Arabic Numerals included information on the number system that went beyond the Arabic contribution. The book referenced as the source was published by the Arabian American Oil Company, Washington D.C., 1980. The information accurately reflected and corraborated relevant facts and was clearly presented. The many other pages relevant to history were also easy to access. This is a great source. The host page,, has a primarily religous theme but is very, very informative. I did find it hard to get back to the history pages but their search option worked well.

(G.L. Wilkinson -- Fall '07)

Identify the Source: Islamicity is the organization running the Web site. IslamiCity's mission is to share with the world an understanding of Islam and Muslims and promote peace, justice, and harmony for all people. The overall Web site is about anything and everything you could possibly want to know about Islam and Muslims. The article being investigated is one over the history of Arabic numerals.

Source Expertise: The site is one over Islam and there is no specific author listed for this article. The site does state that "These pages were incorporated from `ARAMCO and Its World: Arabia And The Middle East,' Edited by Ismail I. Nawwab, Peter C. Speers & Paul F. Hoye, Islam and Islamic History Section, published in 1980 by Arabian American Oil Company, Washington D.C."

Level of Objectivity: The article talks about the way Arabic numerals progressed over time. It discusses the different ways of writing numbers in Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. It seems to be factual, but the Web site itself is very pro-Islam so it could possibly be slanted.

Date: As shown above, the information used to create this article was published in 1980. Seeing how it is about the history of Arabic letters and numbers the information is not time sensitive. The overall Web site was created in 1995 and is copyrighted through 2007.

Verify Claims: The definitions and origin of the numbers probably coming from India is confirmed by Wikipedia and an article The Arabic Numeral System from (?).

(B.N. Demo, C.E. Martling -- Fall '07)


This extremely informative site gives a complete historical life of Archimedes. It was extremely easy to click through the interesting information which the creator of this website has included. Included in this site is the story of such things as the Death of Archimedes, as well as an in-depth description of each of Archimedes's known discoveries and inventions. Some parts of the site include articles with the original Greek (and Latin translations) for a more interesting twist of documentation. We find that many of the more interesting facts about Archimedes are skimmed over in a typical class. However, students who have a taste for more information about this fascinating genius will find this site full of story-finishing facts.

Anyone who travels to this site on the Web will find it easy to navigate, with multiple connections to other sites throughout for further research possibilities. Its organizational structure makes it a breeze to find any particularly juicy bit of historical fact about this intriguing man of math. For anyone looking to dig deeper into the historical value of the life of Archimedes, this Web site can give all the information that a student may hunger for.

(M.D. White -- Fall '08)

Ask Dr. Math

Who is providing this information?

The Math Forum provides the information on the Web site. The section that we reviewed was Ask Doctor Math. Math Professors from all around the globe answer questions from students regarding math. They refer to these Professors and college students as Doctors. Different Math teachers and college math students respond to different questions.

Source Expertise

The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of Drexel University.
- In 1994, the Math Forum discovered a project called Ask Prof. Maths where K-12 students could send in math questions and get answers. It started at Swarthmore College and by 1995 expanded to many colleges around the country.
- In 1999 Ask Dr. Math was cited as one of four Virtual Reference Desk AskA Exemplary Services. It also received an exemplary award in 1998, and others including Web Pilot's Wing Award and a BEST Education Site Award.

Level of Objectivity

Some answers reference Encyclopedia Americana and Encyclopedia Britannica regarding the topic. The answers use examples to explain the question in good terms. The different Doctors explain how to do certain problems in a step-by-step form.


The archives are copyrighted from 2004-2007.

Verify Claims

The information is found to be pretty accurate. Questions are answered by different math educators at colleges around the country. As already noted, the site has won several awards.

This site is a great place to ask math questions and find the answers to many math topics. There are sections for Elementary, Middle School, High School, and College. There are questions and answers corresponding to just about every math subject. When searching, all you have to do is find the subject area of interest, click on it, and then search through the questions. If the question you want answered is not on the list, then you can submit it. It is a great site for students to ask questions and get answers.

(M.J. Pruis, K.K. Wallace -- Fall '07)

Distinguished Women of Past and Present Mathematics

This website gives a list of women who have greatly influenced mathematics. The initial list is divided up into two sections: Before the 20th Century and the 20th Century. The list includes women from 370 AD to the present and from all over the world that have had a significant impact in the field of mathematics.

Each woman's name is a hyperlink that leads to a biography describing her background, personal life, and contribution to mathematics. By clicking on a link at the top of the page, you will be taken to a page that further classifies the women into the specific decades that they affected. Their biographies can also be accessed from this page. There are also links at the top of the page that lead you to the home page of Distinguished Women of Past and Present. This page includes important women of history from all disciplines, not just mathematics.

This site is a very valuable resource for teachers or students who are looking to find out more about the impact that women have had on mathematics, or about a specific woman herself. It can be useful for academic research or for just general interest browsing. I would definitely recommend this site to anyone looking to know more about women in this field. Not only is it well-organized and easy to navigate, but it is a fascinating site to read about the history of women in mathematics.

(S.M. Leivian -- Fall '08)

Ethnomathematics (Pisa)

This site explains what Ethnomathematics is and its influence on educators. The site defines Ethnomathematics as "the maths practiced among cultural groups such as national-tribal societies, labour groups, children of a certain age bracket, professional classes and so on." The main page does not go into detail about the subject, but directs readers to other sites via the indexed database of references. These references are up to date and targeted at students new to Ethnomathematics research. The author gives information for joining the International Study Group on Ethnomathematics (ISGE) as well as a link to their newsletter. The site also includes games and links that educators of math would find appealing. I enjoyed reading through the multicultural math goals link and the minorities and math link. While some of the connected sites and references were hard to navigate through, I found this site informative for future educators of math.

(K.A. Rojas -- Fall '08)

Famous Curves Index

In mathematics, a curve, in the most general sense, is a geometric object that is one-dimensional -- a path or trace of a point that may vary in its direction while being connected like a line. This site displays numerous 2-D curves of historical, geometrical, mathematical and intellectual interest. Each curve is a separate link from the main page.

The Famous Curves Index site initially presents an alphabetical index of its curves. All are long known, with a history of use mathematically or practically. FCI includes the figure eight, hyperbola, quadratrix of Hippias, and many other varied and visually interesting curves, with various mathematical characteristics:

  • continuous or not
  • simple or not
  • open or closed
  • rectifiable or not
Each link in the index displays that curve's page. Each curve's page contains a visual representation with reference axes and its formula or equation in Cartesian, polar, or parametric form. Associated curves or members of its family are listed. A historical reference is frequently included but is often short and spotty. It could note its discovery, uses, alternate names, mathematical notes, and variations.

The site is easy and intuitive to use for the indexed curves. It is "link poor" and not clearly documented; still, many sites link to it. Interactive experiments are possible with a properly configured Java-capable browser. There is a link to the MacTutor History Archive search form for keyword searches of biographies, history topics, mathematicians, etc.

(S.L. Bell, S.J. Reynolds, S.L. Sounakhen, R.B. Watin -- Fall '04)

Famous Mathematician

This website is a database of famous scholars. The site is designed to be a reference tool for people doing research for papers or to just read more about the famous scholar that you are interested in. The homepage has the alphabet listed. You simply click the letter that the scholar's last name begins with and it takes you to a page that lists all of the people in the database whose last name begins with this letter. You then find the name you are looking for in the alphabetical list and if it is in red, you can click on it. It will then take you to a biography that includes information such as the full name, the dates he or she lived, nationality, primary occupation, claim to fame, and any recommended books or sites. If the name is blue, then the link has not been written yet, but is planned to be added.

The site has hundreds of names on it, but currently the majority don't have links to biographies. The other negatives to this site are the difficulty to read type, the small size of the type, and the lack of biographies. Although there are these negative aspects of the site, it appears that over time the site will be built into a very useful resource. As of now, it is useful for information on some major mathematicians but it doesn't contain a wide array of scholars. I would recommend this site to people who are beginning their research. It is a great way to find more links to other sites that go deeper into the person you are researching. I would not recommend this site to students or teachers who are looking for a source that contains detail on the history and accomplishments of these scholars.

(S.M. Leivian -- Fall '08)

Famous Problems in the History of Mathematics

This site addresses seven problems or areas: the bridges of Königsberg, the value of pi, puzzling primes, famous paradoxes, the problem of points, a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem, and a proof that is irrational. There is a brief summary and a few links for each. The site also contains 5 book reviews and information on 11 books used as references. The books reviewed are Men of Mathematics  by E.T. Bell, Great Moments in Mathematics (Before 1650)  and Great Moments in Mathematics (After 1650)  by Howard Eves, Mathematics: A Human Endeavor  by Harold R. Jacobs, and Calculus Gems  by George F. Simmons.

Many of the problems are explained in an easygoing manner using illustrations and diagrams. This Web site is great if you want an overview of one of its topics, but not if you want a more in depth explanation. To improve the site, they could increase the number of links available for each problem for those who want to learn more.

(G.L. Baerg, C.M. Brown, E.A. Ukena, L.-H. Yew -- Fall '04)

Favorite Mathematical Constants

This site opens with a concise statement about the fascination certain constants hold for us, a summmary of how the site is organized, and suggested links to other methods of accessing it. The first alternate method given is a "table of constants" which is a listing of every constant in (mostly) increasing order. The second alternative is the search utility Excite, and includes clear directions for using this search engine (both within this particular site and on the Internet in general).

The first page we see contains constants listed in groups under the following headings:

  • Well-known constants
  • Constants associated with Number Theory
  • Constants associated with Analytic Inequalities
  • Constants associated with the Approximation of Functions
  • Constants associated with Enumerating Discrete Structures
  • Constants associated with Functional Iteration
  • Constants Associated with Complex Analysis
  • Constants associated with Geometry
Over 80 constants are discussed within the above categories and each entry is marked with the date it was last edited (most within the last two months). This site closes with a list of six or so relevant links to other sites. The one negative aspect of this site is that the entries explaining the constants can become quite complicated to follow if one is not well-versed in mathematics. Nevertheless, this is a great page for anyone who is doing mathematical research or for any one who wants to learn about most of the constants that exist in the mathematical world.

(L.S. Bornholdt, F.R. Martinez, M.C. Toews -- Fall '97)

The Galileo Project

This is a well-done, extensive Web site that specializes in Galileo's life and work. The Web site is visually appealing and serves to all levels of expertise. Many links to several topics dealing with Galileo are found on the front page; some of these include a biography, chronology, portraits, and his sciences. A huge time line of anything related to Galileo can be found under the chronology page. Basically, just about anything you want to know about Galileo can easily be found on the Web site. I found the portraits page particularly interesting. The author of this Web site lists all his sources under his biography page. A minor drawback to this site is the fact that it has not been updated since 2004; although I have not found any broken links or images, it does not appear that the Web site is continually maintained. If you are looking for information on Galileo, this Web site as good as it gets.

(A.D. Fornshell -- Fall '07)

The Geometry of War

This Web site is about how geometry was used in warfare during 1500-1750. The Web site has a page with the title and picture, and from there you can go to any of the sections. The introduction explains how the mathematicians of the Renaissance applied geometry to all manner of practical disciplines. Also, many instruments were designed using geometry to use during war. There are three main divisions of exhibition that the site discusses: Gunnery, Range finding and surveying, and Fortification. Each division has a summary for it and then several entries. These entries go into detail about each instrument and have a picture to go along with the instrument. There is also a section that has pictures of the instruments being used in war. Another helpful section for anyone doing research is the name index this Web site has. The names are in alphabetical order for quick reference. This Web site would be good for anyone researching or curious about war, the instruments used in war, or how math has been applied in some important historical moments.

(J.A. Richey -- Fall '07)

History of Mathematics [Stoudt]

This site offers a complete list of connections to many different Web sites that are perfect for the History of Math student. Created by a Professor G. Stoudt at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, it offers information which any math student would need to progress through their education, including links to other math sites on the web for easy access.

It has a link to a mathematician name pronunciation page, which gives a precise way in which to pronounce their names correctly. This is many times one of the hardest parts of studying mathematicians through the ages. It offers the story of math through history using original pages from the mathematicians, which are most important. Although it seems to be limited in the amount of original information, its connections are readily available and easy to find when necessary. There is even a connection to original images of pages from the mathematical works, where a student may find pages from such books as "The Elements" and many others. It was created primarily for the students in his classes, but consequently it gives students from outside schools a great deal of information which they can use as well, including a summary of NCTM Standards for teachers to use in lesson plans.

(M.D. White -- Fall '08)

History of Mathematics [Wilkins]

If you need any information about the history of math, then this is the place to start. This site's homepage contains only different links covering the history of math, but the information on this site is unbelievable. Just some examples of the links are directories of Web sites for the history of mathematics, biographies of mathematicians, mathematics in specific cultures, periods, or places; and there are many more! Most of the links just mentioned eventually lead you to more links and more information about the history of math. This is a well-organized and appealing site. We would recommend it to anyone who is interested in writing or learning more about the history of math.

The Web site is maintained by David R. Wilkins of the School of Mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin.

(C.E. Martling, C.A. Wilmott -- Fall '07)

History Topics Index

The History Topics Index is an extensive Web site containing many helpful links and detailed discussions on the various topics of math history, all of which are listed in an alphabetical index. Each topic is explained well and is very friendly to readers unfamiliar with math history; all important topics/mathematicians are linked to a new window which details the topic. Each discussion cites works from a references section found near the bottom of the page. An index of biographies of the important figures in math history are listed in chronological order; these biography pages contain the birth place, birth date, date of death, quotations, and a full detailed biography of the mathematician. Also useful is the Time Line of Mathematicians, which graphically shows how the lives of the mathematicians overlap. This Web site has a link to a calendar from which you can select any day and it will report back with the mathematicians who were born and died on that day. Also displayed on the web page is the birth date map which simply shows by region where mathematicians were born. Everything is very well laid out, the Web site is very simple, and therefore displays quickly and is navigated easily. This Web site contains many useful resources, all of which can readily be explored from the homepage. I highly recommend referencing the History Topics Index.

(A.D. Fornshell -- Fall '07)

Who is providing the information?

The Web site has links to many different math topics throughout history. The articles are written by J.J. O'Connor and E.F. Robertson.

Source Expertise

At the end of each of the articles is a list of references to support all claims and information stated.

Level of Objectivity

The site contains hundreds of articles regarding a wide variety of math history topics. The information is clear and concise. At the bottom of each article are links to additional Web sites that contain more helpful information on the topic of interest.


This site was last updated on September 2007

This is a great site to find articles on many different topics of math history. Topics can be listed in alphabetical order. There are links to other Web sites that will also be helpful. Articles are supported by scholarly sources. The site is easy to use and easy to find what you need. The bottom of the page lists more other indexes like biographies, birthplace maps, timelines, etc. There is a search bar to find what you are looking for. I would recommend using this site when researching a topic of math history. Great place to get some information and find more sources.

(M.J. Pruis -- Fall '07)

Hobbes vs. Wallis

This Web page was designed by the Mathematical Association of America for David Graves to review the book Squaring the Circle: The War between Hobbes and Wallis by Douglas M. Jesseph. The review was last edited by Fernando Q. Gouvea on Tuesday, July 27, 1999.

The Web site is an extensive breakdown of the book so if you have a specific question that you are trying to answer you can start here and then go directly to the chapter in which you should be able to find your answer. Even though mathematics isn't shown in the review, it discusses the samples of Hobbesian mathematics that are included in the book.

The reviewer appears to be very impartial as he expresses himself and gives the reader the opportunity to develop their own opinion. If you have a library of mathematic books then the review strongly encourages you to include this book. If you haven't heard of this book, after reading the review you will most likely be enticed to go to your local book store and at least look over it extensively.

(K. Balliet -- Fall '07)

Hypatia of Alexandria

This site is mainly for the serious math historian who needs or wants to know just about anything there is to know about Hypatia. If the information you are looking for is not here, then chances are this site will tell you where else to look. The site includes transcriptions of essays and books on Hypatia as well as biographies written from many different perspectives. There is an extensive list of biographies from St. Andrews which can be viewed alphabetically or chronologically. There are also letters from a mail debate over Hypatia. This site has a lot of good information and is worth stopping by if you want to learn something about an important woman in the history of mathematics.

(G.E. Fulton, M.D. Massey, M.H. Schuster -- Fall '97)

This site, designed by Howard A. Landman, is an extensive bibliography source geared towards Hypatia of Alexandria. It was last updated on April 3, 2004 and is very comprehensive on Hypatia. I attempted to access a connection to Women and Science but it wasn't currently working.

Landman has included an extensive list of books and magazine articles which otherwise would be difficult to locate due to their expired or nonexisting copyright dates. Some also include information about on what that source is focused. If you don't know where to find the item, a library at which it is located is also listed.

If you want to purchase any of these available books you are encouraged to do this through the Web site since this is their primary source of funding.

(K. Balliet -- Fall '07)

Introduction to the Works of Euclid

This Web site gives an indepth look at Euclid and focuses on his work, The Elements. The Web site starts with a history of Euclid and some of his other works then focuses on the multiple books in Elements. The Web site gives a brief description of each of the books that make up Elements. There are also links to other math related Web sites that all are in working order. This is an excellent Web site if one is looking into exploring Euclid and his Elements. It is a bit lengthy to read in one sitting, but well worth the effort if you are interested in the topic.

(G.R. Stoskopf -- Fall '07)

Mathematical Association of America

This Web site starts out on the home page for the MAA. There is a lot of information given, but it is organized at the top into six categories: Membership, Publications, Professional Developement, Meetings, Organization, and Competitions. If you click on the links, it takes you to so much more! Under membership, there is information about being a member and all the benefits, resources, and fees. Under the Publication link, the site tells how the MAA publishes books, journals, magazines, and reports that offer the best in expository mathematical writing. The Professional Development link is very useful. It has links for both students and teachers to further develop professionally in many mathematical ways. Faculty are offered many workshops that can be registered for online. These include PREP, PMET, NExT, and many, many more! Students are offered links for competitions like the American Math Competition, and also grants for students. The other links just give information as they are titled. For instance, the link "Meetings" gives information about the national and sectional meetings of the MAA and "organization" gives information about the organization itself. I find this Web site to be full of information that could be useful to someone interested in joining a mathematical organization. It has so much that is helpful, it almost has too much. I feel like I can't get through all the useful information and resources even though I want to. So if this Web site is for you, good luck reading through all of the information.

(J.A. Richey -- Fall '07)

Mathematical Constants

This website is written by Steven R. Finch, and it is kept up through Cambridge University. It includes sections on Number Theory and Cominatories, Inequalities and Approximation, Real and Complex Analysis, Probability adn Stochastic Processes, and Geometry and Toplogy. He provides several links throughout the page under these topics and as additional educational links. Many of the topics are linked to history through people like Bernoulli and Bohr.

The last update was performed July 2008. Finch gives contact information as well as an extensive resumé of his math history and accomplishments.

This site seems helpful with so many topics and a highly published and educated author.

(L.D. Gerber -- Fall '08)

Mathematical Quotation Server

This site is a well organized collection of mathematical quotations, plus original source information, that is easily accessible and provides interesting reading for either the novice or expert mathematician. The collection, arranged alphabetically by author's last name, can be accessed by three different methods. The keyword search allows the user to submit a keyword or author's name to be searched for in the collection. The alphabetical search can be done using the author's last name and going directly to that letter in the alphabet. The user may also opt for the random mathematical quotation generator to display random individual quotes from the collection.

This site contains quotes from famous people, from Malcolm X to Woody Allen. It contains a lot of neat quotes that can apply anywhere. The Web site could be useful in obtaining an opening or closing epigram for a paper or for everyday use.

(B.J. Fusco, N.J. Nelson, C.X. Van -- Fall '97)

Would you like to know some quotations from mathematicians? If you do, this Web site is your favorite. It has a large collection of mathematical quotations. Those quotations which include the original source information are organized in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Those collections can be found by typing a keyword, or you can search by the author's last name. If you have no idea what you are looking for, you can click the "Browse" key. It will show you all the collections by the author's name alphabetically. Another method is to click the "Random" key. This system gives random choices to show you one of the collections each time.

(J.-P. Wu -- Fall '07)

As a future teacher of high school math I wanted to review this site because I want to have some meaningful quotes on my walls. This is an excellent site, the huge volume of quotes are easy to access and if you are looking for a specific quote that is also easy to find. The site contains an alphabetical index, listed by the originator of the quote who is not necessarily the author. In that way this site is also an excellent source for books on the history of math: by using the alphabetical index you can find a quote from any famous mathematician, then that quote is referenced to a book about the source. The site also has easy-to-download files of the quotes and a random quote generator than all math teachers should have attached to their emails.

(G.L. Wilkinson -- Fall '07)

Mathematicians of the African Diaspora

This Web site goes into great detail about Black mathematicians, all over the world and throughout history. It is very well designed, partly set up in reverse chronological order starting at present day Black mathematicians -- all the way back to the time of Archimedes. There are numerous links that will take you to the page that describes the selected mathematician and their accomplishments. All of the links appear to be in working order and the site is kept up to date.

(G.R. Stoskopf -- Fall '07)

Mathematics: Ancient Science and Its Modern Fates

This Web site goes into fairly good detail about Greek mathematics. It gives brief summaries of some famous mathematician's works such as Euclid's Elements, Piero della Francesca's De Quinque Corporibus Regularibus, and many others. The Web site has links to others on Greek mathematics, and to Greek astronomy. If one were interested in Greek mathematics and the mathematicians that followed it, then this Web site would be of good value to them.

(G.R. Stoskopf -- Fall '07)

Math History Theme Page

This Web site covers a wide history of basic mathematics. It is designed to aide teachers and students to understand where math comes from. It contains lesson plans and games.

A few of the links are outdated since nobody has maintained this site. Among them are:

  • [A] Brief History of Algebra and Computing

    Contains links to The Math Forum Internet Mathematics Library, but some are broken.

  • Math Book Collection

    This link is actually out of date. The proper link is here. Many of the books are in French and German.

  • [The] Moldy Oldies Collection

    We couldn't even find the biographies that it claims to contain. Contains links to The Math Forum Internet Mathematics Library, but some are broken.

  • StudyWeb: History of Mathematics

    A broken link; we couldn't find a correction.

  • TrackStar

    A new version of TackStar is out. The correct link is here.

All in all, this site is limited in its subjects and capabilities. Our suggestion is to find better, updated sites.

(R.L. Cutter, J.R. Dimercurio, B.P. Shannon -- Fall '04)

Mesopotamian Mathematics

Who is providing this information? -- Duncan J. Melville from St. Lawrence University.
It appears that the information is linked to a site for his students. This Web site links to his professional Web site that links to that of the university. It lists all of his contact information: he feels confident enough in his information to tell how to contact him and even what office he is in.

Source Expertise
-- While independently looking at the St. Lawrence University Web site, one can click a link to the math department which lists the author of the Web site as a member of the faculty, which in turns links to his professional page which links to the page about Mesopotamian mathematics. The Mesopotamia site is listed as a Britannica Internet Guide Selection and has received a StudyWeb award for academic excellence.

Level of Objectivity
-- The information is presented in a clear and objective manor. Also, he mentions that there seems to be some debate on the subject and makes references to a book on the topic and offers a link to Eleanor Robson's bibliography.

-- This information is listed as last updated on 16 February 2007. It is talking about ancient math history so the information is not expected to change very often.

Verify Claims
-- This is a topic that we covered in class and the information parallels what we heard from Dr. Parker. There are several other sites that have similar information that corroborate this story. A book that he makes reference to was written by Denise Schmandt-Besserat (a professor at the University of Texas) and several of the other sites that make reference to this part of history either quote Schmandt-Besserat or use her general information on the subject.

(B.N. Demo, R.K. Marin -- Fall '07)

Slates, Sliderules & Software
Teaching Math in America

Who is providing this information?
The web-site is provided by the National Museum of American History.

Source Expertise
The source expertise, NMAH, is very credible and has many resources available to reproduce quality information on the web-site.

Level of Objectivity
The main objective of the site is to allow the general public access to the history of technology in mathematics in American teaching. The site contains information regarding mathematical teaching in America in the Early Republic, the World Stage, the Cold War, and the Information Age. The site provides pictures of the display shown in the National Museum of American History that the web site is based from. The site also provides useful web-sites about math education.

The site was copyrighted in 2002.

Verify Claims
There are many credible published sources that the site uses to verify its information.

(B.N. Demo, G.L. Wilkinson -- Fall '07)

When you read the title of this Web site you quickly assume that it is going to talk about educational tools used in teaching mathematics such as chalkboards, abaci, and calculators (to name a few that aren't mentioned in title), but it goes much further than that.

This Web site discusses the development of mathematics from the 1800s to the present day. Not only does it discuss the tools used but the changes in how mathematics has been taught, in addition to the evolution of the needs of the students in each era. The time periods are specifically broken down into the following: the Early Republic, the World Stage, the Cold War, and the Information Age.

The Web site shows a small part of what the Museum has in their extensive collection that is geared towards education in mathematics. Just seeing what the Web site has to offer to the viewer, I would imagine that it would leave any person in awe, even those that don't care for the concept of mathematics.

The Web site is offered by the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Institution and the Behring Center. It was copyrighted in 2002. The Web site was composed collectively by the staffs of all of these institutions. The information was also in an article released on 1/24/02 entitled "National Museum of American History Goes to Math Class". The Museum with this exhibit is scheduled to reopen by the summer of 2008.

This Web site could offer any educator an extensive list of other sites at which they could enhance any lesson. If you're just a person who has an interest in general history, you would also enjoy this Web site. It links to a number of other informational Web sites in the following areas: problems to solve, teaching, manipulatives, and history of mathematics.

(K. Balliet -- Fall '07)

Some Earliest Uses of Math Symbols

This web site contains an extensive list of mathematical symbols and their origins. These symbols are broken up into 9 different mathematical categories including geometry, calculus, and symbols of operation, just to name a few. Within each of these sections are short explanations of when the symbols originated and who their "founder" was. Since the symbols are broken up into different sections, it makes it very easy to find a specific symbol, granted the searcher knows what branch of math to look in. Also included in this web site is a link to the earliest known uses of math words. These are organized alphabetically and also broken into sections so that if you want to find out where "zero" came from you don't have to start out with "algebra" and scroll down. This section also contains just short descriptions but it is exhaustive. If you want to find out where a mathematical word or symbol came from then this is a great place to look, but if you want an in depth-history of any particular symbol then you will probably have to search elsewhere.

(D.R. Campbell, D.J. Finney, D.E. Smith -- Fall '97)

This Web site is the place to go if you want to know the history of a math symbol. The home page has 15 categories of math symbols. The categories are operation, grouping, relation, fractions, constants, variables, functions, symbols used in geometry, symbols used in trigonometry, symbols used in calculus, matrices and vectors, set notation and logic, symbols used in number theory, symbols used in probability and statistics, and resources. Each one of these categories has its own link that goes to a page with the history of all the listed math symbols in that category. It includes the individuals who first used the mathematical symbols, and the dates the symbols first appeared. For instance, the category "operation" includes math symbols such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. The home page and its links are highly organized and easy to move around. It also has listed on the home page other links to visit when researching the history of math symbols which is convenient. The webpage cites a lot of its information from Florian Cajori's book and was last revised on June 24, 1999.

(J.A. Richey -- Fall '07)

See also Some Earliest Uses of Math Words

Who is providing this information?

The site is maintained by Jeff Miller a teacher at Gulf High School in Florida. Many Sources are listed where to find further information on the terms.

Source Expertise

The site list many links to people, articles, and organizations in which further information on the math words is listed. Many sources are cited and give backing to the definitions given.

Level of Objectivity

Some math terms are vaguely described, however, every term has further sources on where to find additional information. If lists the name of the person who originated the term and provides a link to further research on the person. The site references many books, people, articles, etc.


Each letter of terms has been revised on different dates. A majority of them have been revised in 2007. Terms containing the first letters J, Y, Z were last updated in 2006.

Verify Claims

Knowing where math terms came from and what they mean is very important. This site references many math terms. It explains them and tells how they were named. Many Mathematicians are listed such as René Descartes, John Wallis, and Sir William Rowan Hamilton.

This Web site is very helpful if you are interested in how certain words came about and where they were first used. The site gives an alphabetical list of math words. It describes the word and where it came from. It also provides additional sources and references to find additional information.

(M.J. Pruis, G.L. Wilkinson -- Fall '07)

St. Andrews U.

This site presents comprehensive information and numerous links to additional sites in its coverage of mathematical topics. These topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Biographical information on over 1,100 mathematicians from the least well-known to the most famous in history. This page is the perfect way to obtain general information, such as personal background and contributions to the field of mathematics, by accessing the data through chronological or alphabetical order. For more detailed data, a reference list is provided for each person.
  • Birthplace location maps, organized by regions of the world, mark the birthplace of hundreds of mathematicians. A simple click on a dot produces a city/town name complete with the names of the mathematicians who lived there and links to their biographies.
  • Chronology ordering provides a timeline where the lifespans of each mathematician is represented by bars. History is divided into eight eras with each era having its own timeline. Hundreds of mathematicians are featured on each timeline. This feature allows the user to evaluate the influence mathematicians had on others' work.
  • Mathematician of the Day highlights the careers of those mathematicians born on the day in history.
  • The famous curves index allows the user to read the history and experiment with over 40 famous curves (provided your browser can handle JAVA). With each curve the browser is given a cartesian plot of what the curve looks like, several different forms of the equation which governs the curve, and other facts about the curve. The information contained on this page is of special interest to any calculus student.
  • Mathematical games and recreation provides a historical overview of games and problems which motivated and intrigued mathematicians throughout history, such as Finonacci's Rabbit Problem, Euler's Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg, Lucas' Tower of Hanoi, Erno Rubik's Cube, and Archimedes's Cattle Problem. Links are provided to sites which elaborate on each puzzle or problem. This information could provide interesting connections for use in a classroom environment to capture students' attention.
Opportunities to link with other sites for more information are liberally scattered throughout this site. Uses for this site range from a quick look at a famous mathematician to an indepth research resource.

(B.J. Fusco, N.J. Nelson, M.C. Toews -- Fall '97)

A Timeline of Symmetry in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics

This Web site covers all you need to know about symmetry in physics, chemistry, and mathematics through 1985. The home page contains links to other resources as well as a well-written timeline. The first link is an introduction to elementary particle theory. If you can read Swedish, then you re in luck. If not, then stay away. You can also link to the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive at the University of St. Andrews. The other links contain related web sources such as lecture notes and surveys from around the world, data resources and other interesting links. The timeline on the homepage covers a time period from 400 b.c. to 1985. Just about every year contains a link to a different source. Who maintains the Web site is not clear but it was last updated on January 22, 2005.

This is a well organized Web site but it is limited in its information. One could, however, find other information through its many links.

(R.K. Marin, C.A. Wilmott -- Fall '07)

Women Mathematicians
Another version:
Scroll down, "Women in Mathematics" at left.

This site tells a little bit each about a lot of women mathematicians. You won't find extensive information on any one, but there are sources listed to lead you to more information if needed. The main attribute of this site is the chronological or alphabetical index of women mathematicians. These biographies are brief, but have some valuable information. Some include pictures. This site is fun to go through, even if you don't have a lot of time. Things are well organized and easy to find.

(G.E. Fulton, M.D. Massey, M.H. Schuster -- Fall '97)

This site is the place to go when searching for a brief overview of a woman mathematician. The home page has a random picture of one of the mathematicians, and then links to read summaries about each of them. The site can search for women alphabetically, chronologically, and by the place where they were born. Alphabetical is helpful if you know the last name of the mathematician for whom you are looking. Chronological is useful when you are looking for a woman from a certain era. Ordering the women by place of birth is handy when you are researching women from specific states or countries.

Once you have found the woman you want to learn more about, click on her link and you will find a paragraph to a page about her background, mathematical contributions, and awards. There is not an abundance of information on any specific woman, but there are references and resources listed to use to research more about each.

The site is appealing and well organized and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning a little bit about the women mathematicians who have made a difference.

(J.A. Richey -- Fall '07)

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