Teaching Mathematics with a Historical Perspective

Teaching Mathematics with a Historical Perspective

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Summary: In this course, now taught for the 9th time at the Harvard exension school,we take a panoramic tour over all mathematics. In each topic, we process historically look at topics which can be pedagogically relevant. The process of learning mathematics correlates with the history of mathematics. The struggle of research mathematicians finding new mathematics is similar to the challenges which students experience when they learn established mathematical theories. This process continues even today, as new mathematics is developed and refined and taught. In this course, we take a wide panoramic stroll through the landscape of all mathematics and study it primarily from a historical perspective. History of course includes the current time. The connections to other fields, to other cultures and to other epochs including current developments in mathematics will help us to widen the horizon as a teacher and to inspire the classroom. Prerequisites: Previous mathematics background is of advantage, but an open mind is more important. Interesting and new mathematics can be enjoyed also without vast background knowledge. Of course, you benefit more from this course if you know already different areas of mathematics. The main goal is to stimulate interest, get a global view and see connections between different fields and different areas and different approaches. After a general overview of Mathematics in the first lecture, we will work each week with a specific branch of mathematics and see its historical context.

 

  

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