Math 300: History and Philosophy of Mathematics

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Catalog Information


History and Philosophy of Mathematics.

(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)



F, W, Sp


Math 113.


Historical development of important mathematical ideas and philosophies; implications for the mathematical curriculum.

Desired Learning Outcomes

The main purpose of this course is to learn mathematics through its history, to clarify and reinforce fundamental mathematical ideas, such as (but not limited to) not just who were the first to compute π to whatever degree of accuracy, but more importantly, why is π well-defined, i.e., why is the ratio circumference/diameter the same for all circles, or how the ancient civilizations figured out the exact formula for the area of circle without using integral calculus, as done in calculus courses.


Knowledge of the topics whose history is being discussed, e.g., basic algebra, arithmetic, geometry and calculus.

Minimal learning outcomes

The students should be able to demonstrate a historical perspective of mathematics. They should be able to exhibit with clarity both the ideas and their evolution over the period of their history. The students are expected to know the following periods of mathematical history:

Additional topics

Courses for which this course is prerequisite