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MAT 320: History of Mathematics: Math History Term Paper

An Investigation into a Mathematician

Explore a mathematician of your choice from several angles. I want you to focus on and structure your paper around 5 things as you prepare this paper.  Length: 8-10 pages.


State in your paper why you decided to write about this individual. Describe what your initial impression if any of this mathematician is and what you hope to learn from her/him.

Second, study and write a little introduction about the time that the individual lived in for a perspective. It is nice to know what historical events shaped someone’s life. Example: Emmy Noether lived during WWII as a Jewish female mathematician in Germany. How do you think this major event affected her life and her mathematics?

Third, read and write about the person. Who she/he was? Describe the individual and how she/he became a mathematician. Tell about anything peculiar that you will like to share that you found out about the person. Example: Newton died never married at the age of 85.

Fourth, read, learn and share some of the mathematics the mathematician worked on. You will need to show an example in your paper. I will be able to assist you with this if you have any trouble at all!

Fifth and final part, your reflection on this person and your thoughts on what her/his accomplishments mean to us today!


Galileo Galilei (The Assayer, 1623):

'The universe cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language... without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word'

Select a Mathematician from this list

1)         Isaac Newton

2)        Gottfried Leibniz

3)        Johannes Kepler

4)        Rene Descartes

5)        Blaise Pascal

6)        James Bernoulli

7)        Pierre Laplace

8)        Marin Mersenne

9)        Pierre de Fermat

10)      Leonard Euler

11)       Carl Friedrich Gauss

12)      Joseph Lagrange

13)      Adrien Marie Legendre

14)      Nicolai Lobachevsky

15)      Bernhard Riemann

16)      Felix Klein

17)        Karl Weierstrass

18)        Sonya Kovalevsky

19)       William Hamilton

20)             Georg Cantor

21)        Henri Poincare

22)              David Hilbert

23)             Godfrey Hardy

24)            Srinivasa Ramanujan

25)          Amalie Emmy Noether