Famous Problems and Their Mathematicians

Overview

Why did ordering an omelet cost one mathematician his life? Answers to this and other questions are found in this exciting new resource that shows your students how 60 mathematicians discovered mathematical solutions through everyday situations. These lessons are easily incorporated into the present curriculum as an introduction to a math concept, a homework piece, or an extra challenge. Teacher notes and suggestions for the classroom are followed by extension problems and additional background material. This is ...

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Overview

Why did ordering an omelet cost one mathematician his life? Answers to this and other questions are found in this exciting new resource that shows your students how 60 mathematicians discovered mathematical solutions through everyday situations. These lessons are easily incorporated into the present curriculum as an introduction to a math concept, a homework piece, or an extra challenge. Teacher notes and suggestions for the classroom are followed by extension problems and additional background material. This is a great way to spark student interest in math. Grades 5-12.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Each chapter of this new supplemental mathematics text for grades 5-12 presents the historical background of a mathematician or problem, along with an activity based upon the problem and its solution. The projects are designed to be incorporated into a variety of curriculums, and they can be used as introductions into new topics or as a fun way to make mathematics relevant for young people. Johnson, a mathematics teacher at Nashua High School in New Hampshire, demonstrates how the solutions to these age old problems can be applied to everyday situations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Famous Problems and Their Mathematicians is an excellent compilation of the more challenging problems one encounters at the end of a chapter in most high school and some junior high school mathematics textbooks. Each of the volume's 61 chapters represents a specific type of problem. All are written in the same format. A problem that has been given a name is followed by some background information on the creator and the problem. Next come directions, followed by steps to a solution, or an actual solution, to the problem. Also included for each problem is a page or section called the "Teacher Page," which gives further information to help teach the concept represented by the problem. Finally, an "Extension Section" takes the concepts covered to new levels in the classroom. Many different disciplines of mathematics are covered, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and logic. The problems are multicultural, reflecting the mathematics of many nations. Among the familiar problems presented are those of Fermat, Agnesi, and Pythagoras. Also included are problems by lesser known mathematicians, such as Aryabhata (Indian), Abu'l-Wafa' (Islamic), and Brahmagupta (Hindu). A time line giving the name, country of origin, dates, and page number of each problem is also included. This volume is a great source of new and interesting problems; it should be a supplement to all junior and senior high school mathematics courses. Highly Recommended, Grades 7-College, Teaching Professional. REVIEWER: Robert Burchell (Paramus Catholic High School)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563084461
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/15/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 929,138
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

ART JOHNSON is professor of mathematics education, Boston University, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Bibliography
Time Line
Mathematics by Accident 1
Leave No Problem Unsolved 3
Mary Boole's Cards 6
A Very Important Date 9
A Rediscovery Leads to Fame 13
A Promising Career Cut Short 15
There It Lies 18
Alice and Mathematics 20
[pi] in the Sky 24
A Mathematician Exposed 28
Man Versus Machine 32
Timing Is Everything 35
The Number Sifter 38
The Perfect Child 41
The Blockhead 44
The Man Who Loved Numbers 47
The Search Continues 49
A Difficult Childhood 52
The Misunderstood Mathematician 55
A Victim of the Times 57
Numbers with Personality 69
The Greatest "Could-Have-Been" in the History of Mathematics 62
Less Is More 66
Too Good to Be True 69
Math in the Mind's Eye 72
Mathematics Pathways 74
Being Second Doesn't Count 78
Can It Be True? 81
Head in the Clouds 84
Measuring the Earth 87
Mathematical Giants 90
Mathematics to Pass the Time 92
Playing It Safe 95
The Puzzle King 97
The Unknown Mathematicians 100
Sleeping In Has Its Benefits 102
Mathematical Rhymes 106
The World's Most Expensive Math Lesson 110
It's All in the Signs 112
The Unschooled Mathematician 114
The Most Learned Scholar of His Time 116
A Puzzling Will 119
One Fine Day 122
Ahead of His Time 126
An Apple Makes Mathematics 129
The Mysterious Mathematician 132
The Witch of Agnesi 134
"Let No One Ignorant of Geometry Enter Here!" 138
The Disappointed Daughter 142
Unfulfilled Promise 144
The Artist As Mathematician 146
To the Highest Bidder 149
Great Potential 152
Mathematics As a Religion 155
The Lineup 158
The Politician As Mathematician 161
The Poet As Mathematician 163
Receiving Credit for Another's Work 165
The Family Man 168
The Prince of Amateurs 170
The Silver Lining 173
Index 175
About the Author 179
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