Mathematics 470:  History and Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
Spring 2009

Professor:        Jeff Johannes                                    Section 1    MW    4:15 - 5:30p    South 336
Office:            South 326A                    
Telephone:      245-5403
Office Hours:    Monday 8-9p, Tuesday 2-3p, Wednesday 10-11a, Thursday 1-2p, 4:30 - 5:30p, and by appointment or visit
Email Address:

    To learn more about the history of mathematics in several different topic areas.  To present on topics in the history of mathematics, both interactively and in writing. 

    This course is an opportunity to explore and deepen understandings and appreciations for the history of mathematics.  Most importantly, it is an opportunity to learn about topics in history of mathematics that interest you. 

    Your grade in this course will be based on three main components.  One-sixth will be determined by writing an article about the history of mathematics.  One-third will be determined from a running a class session on the history of mathematics.  The final half will be determined by showcasing the history of an important theorem in mathematics.

Mathematics Teacher Article
    You will write an article on a short topic in history of mathematics or the teaching of history of mathematics that would be appropriate for inclusion in Mathematics Teacher.  One third of your evaluation on this article will be based each upon your selection of a topic by the due date, a 15-minute preseentation of your article, and the article itself. 

Class Session
    You will run a 75-minute class session on a topic in the history of mathematics.  One third of your evaluation will be based each upon a written plan and your actual running of the class session.  One ninth will each be based upon your reflection on your class session, your participations in others class sessions, and your written feedback to others class sessions.

Journey Through Genius Chapter
    You will write a paper in the style of Dunham's Journey Through Genius.  It will focus on a significant mathematical theorem, and follow the outline of chapters in Journey Through Genius.  You will also include a lesson plan with your chapter demonstrating a way to incorporate your material into the secondary school classroom.  One eighth of your evaluation will be based upon each of the following components:  selecting a topic by the due date, handing in a complete draft by the due date, class presentation of the material, and each of the written aspects of the paper
(the introduction, description of the theorem, epilogue, bibliography, and the lesson plan).

    Occasionally you will be given anonymous feedback forms.  Please use them to share any thoughts or concerns for how the course is running.  Remember, the sooner you tell me your concerns, the more I can do about them.  I have also created a web-site which accepts anonymous comments.  If we have not yet discussed this in class, please encourage me to create a class code.  Of course, you are always welcome to approach me outside of class to discuss these issues as well. 

Disability Accommodations
    SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional or learning disabilities.  Students should consult with the Director in the Office of Disability Services (Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, 105D Erwin, and their individual faculty regarding any needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.


January 21    Class goals and planning
    26    Class goals and planning - Euler and sum of reciprocal squares
    28    more Euler and beginning of Cantor            topic for article due

February 2   Cantor and the uncountable reals
    4   workshop day for article

    9    contextual mathematics              topics for class presentation and chapter due
    11    contextual mathematics           article due

    16   article presentations - Jasons & Aaron
    18   article presentations - Josh, Zac, Chris

    23   workshop day for class discussions / leading
    25    one more topic that is not included in any other presentations

March 2   class discussion - Aaron
    4   class discussion - Jason Miller

    9   class discussion - Zac
    11   class discussion - Josh
    23   workshop day for peer editing chapters        
    25   Gary Towsley presentation on history of NYS Mathematics Curriculum

    30   class discussion - Chris
April 1   class discussion     Chapter Draft Due

    6   class discussion - Jason March
    8   Incorporating history of mathematics in the classroom

    13   Galois and Geometric Constructions
    15   Chapter Presentation - Aru
    20   Chapter Presentation - Jason Miller
    22   Comments on Calendars and history of Time

    27   Chapter Presentation - Chris
    29   Chapter Presentation - Aaron

May 4  Chapter Presentation - Jason March  written chapter due

Tuesday, May 12    3:30 - 6:30p    Final Examination Time: Chapter Presentation - Zac, Josh  and Conclusions