Module Identifier MA30910  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr C R Fletcher  
Semester Intended For Use In Future Years (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Pre-Requisite MA11010 or MA11110  
Course delivery Lecture   19 Hours  
  Tutorial   3 Hours  
Assessment Exam   1.5 Hours   50%  
  Essay   2,000 - 3,000 word essay   40%  
  Presentation   10 minute talk   10%  
  Resit assessment   Students who fail this module and wish to be reassessed, will be required to sit a 2 hour written examination. This will form the whole of the assessment.    

General description
The study of the history of mathematics has an intrinsic appeal of its own, yet its chief raison d'etre is the illumination of mathematics itself. Mathematics is more than 3000 years old and the study of its history is an important component in the teaching of the subject. In this course the object will be to examine original material, because it is only in this way that one can enter into the spirit of past ages, to understand the triumphs and the stumbling blocks. The scope for this is necessarily limited both by time and by source material, but the exercise is valuable for all mathematicians, especially perhaps for those who contemplate taking up a teaching career.

To introduce students to a selection of original mathematical sources.

A student who successfully completes the course should:

The syllabus for this course changes year by year, sometimes at short notice, but it shall contain the following:
1. SOME ASPECTS OF GREEK MATHEMATICS: Usually based on Euclid's Elements and one of the works of Archimedes.
2. FRENCH MATHEMATICS OF THE 17TH CENTURY: In particular the work of Pierre de Fermat
3. BRITISH AND IRISH ALGEBRAISTS OF THE 19TH CENTURY: eg George Boole, Arthur Cayley, William Rowan Hamilton and James Joseph Sylvester.

Reading Lists
** Supplementary Text
G Boole. The laws of Thought. Dover
C Boyer. A History of Mathematics. Wiley
Euclid. Elements (translated by Heath in 3 volumes). Dover
H Eves. An Introduction to the History of Mathematics. Holt, Reinhart & Winston
J Fauvel & J J Gray. The History of Mathematics. Open University, Macmillan
P de Fermat. Correspondence. Gautier Villars
W R Hamilton. Collected Works Vol. 1 Algebra. Cambridge
T L Heath. A History of Greek Mathematics (2 volumes). Dover
B L van der Waerden. Science Awakening. Noordhoff