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VOYA -Mathematical advances are most often the result of people questioning the status quo and daring to push beyond the boundaries. This title captures sixteen such fascinating stories and makes them accessible to students in grades three through nine. For example, ever wonder why we have the number zero? Find out here; read the story of al-Khwarizmi's invention of the number zero. He must convince his Caliph, ruler, that zero is more than just a place holder, but is actually a number. When did women become recognized mathematicians? Students can read about Sonya Kovalevsky, the first female professor of mathematics; and Sophie Germain, who secretly took LaGrange's math class in 1794 and whose paper was selected as the best for that semester.
These stories are about characters and capture a brief moment in time when they reach turning points in their mathematical work. The stories are historically accurate but most of the dialogue is concocted; nevertheless they are interesting and will leave readers curious for more. The stories contain very little mathematics although some introduce advanced topics in mathematics. Each story is outlined as follows: At a Glance: a brief introduction to the story; Terms to Know: descriptions of key mathematical terms relevant to the story; The Story; and Follow-on Questions and Activities to Explore: two questions (some with answers and some without answers) exploring social and mathematical concepts and issues related to the story.
This book can serve as a good bridge between history and mathematics as well as good preliminary material before introducing various mathematical concepts A list of references is provided at the end of the book. Students can obtain additional information from these references but will need to do some digging to find which references relate to which stories. Index. Illus. Biblio.
VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P J (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).