Mathematics 321

MATH 321
History of Mathematics

Catalog Entry

MATH 321. History of Mathematics
Three Hour Lecture (3).

Prerequisites: MATH135, MATH 142 or ITEC 122, MATH 251

The pursuit of mathematics as a human endeavor, illustrating how mathematics has developed over the past 5000 years including the contributions of diverse cultures. This course will cover not only the evolution and historical perspective of the development of mathematics, but will include a study of the mathematics itself.


Detailed Description of Course


  • Primitive Number Systems
  • Classical Mathematics
  • Medieval and Renaissance Mathematics
  • Development of the Calculus
  • Development of Probability Theory
  • History of Number Theory
  • Development of Non-Euclidean Geometries
  • Modern Mathematics and the development of Set Theory
  • Trends in Modern Mathematics


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

In addition to lecture, students will work collaboratively on assignments created to help students understand the mathematics introduced throughout history. Calculators and computers will be used to present and work the material in and outside class. Further, the process standards call for students to be able to communicate their mathematical thinking clearly to peers and faculty. A presentation would fulfill this requirement, as would in-class group work, and so is recommended as part of this course.


Student Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for mathematical rigor and inquiry along with problem solving in mathematics throughout history. Students will develop an understanding of the interconnection among the different branches of mathematics and the expansive nature of mathematical development. They will build knowledge of the role of mathematics in understanding the world around them and that the body of mathematics is a culturally shared endeavor. An appreciation of the historical development of number systems, algebra, geometries, calculus, probability, and set theory will be cultivated.


Assessment Measures

Students will demonstrate content understanding via written (and/or oral) exams, written homework problems, collaborative work in class, and a final project presented to the class.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval Date