Monday, April 30, 2012

The History of Maths! Absolutely Fascinating to Watch:)

Have your students ever wondered how math came into existence?  Of course those few who find the subject exciting need little encouragement here, but for those who do, these sites will provide incredible insight behind numbers and how they came into being:)  As a non-math person, I found this BBC series quite engaging in that its delivery is totally accessible to non-math individuals.  Further, in these videos, every segment of humanity is recognized from every continent.  If you have ELLs in your classes, you see some wide smiles when their culture is showcased.


In HISTORY OF MATHS, you will discover the many paths of discovery humans took along the way trying to find patterns and solve puzzles.  Egyptians were acknowledged at length in their handling of complex mathematics.  Land and taxes were the driving force:)

This section continues where the introduction left off.   The Babylonians are explored here along with their contributions to math.  Here the links to astronomy and math are a major focus in the clip.  Quadratic equations were also born in Babylonia.  Last, but not least, the concept of ZERO was touched on, but not fully addressed for 1000 years.

HISTORY OF MATH IN ASIA  The 13th century was the golden age of math in China.  Many of the formulas developed were linked also to astronomy.  India is also covered here and the fact that their number system laid the ground for our present day 9 number system.  They also created the number zero (now 0-9 was a reality). 

HISTORY OF MATH IN EUROPE You will travel through Italy and France.  The journey over the history of math in Europe then explores the major contributions of Newton and others to the field of mathematics.

I only wish that such a program as this BBC one had been available when I was in school many years ago.  For me, math class consisted of doing lots of exercises with no history or tie-in to the real world.  I loved this series. 



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