Illustrating The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art: Their Use in a College Mathematics History Classroom – Conclusion and References

Joel K. Haack (University of Northern Iowa)


I hope that you can see the contribution made by the study tour of China to my appreciation of the Nine Chapters. Although cultural context for the Nine Chapters was merely a small part of what we learned on the trip, we can now share it with our students and colleagues. I have found that it truly enriches the experience of my students in the history of mathematics.

About the Author

Joel Haack is a professor of mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa, with mathematical interests that include the history of mathematics, algebra, probability and statistics, and the connections between mathematics and the arts and humanities. Joel and his wife Linda were frequent travelers with the MAA Mathematical Study Tours, having traveled with the group to Greece, England, Mexico, China, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Italy. Returning to the faculty after 20 years in administration, Joel is pleased to be able to share what he learned on the MAA Study Tours with his students.


Dauben, Joseph W., "Chinese Mathematics," The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook, ed. Victor Katz, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007, 187-384.

Haack, Joel, "A Sampling of The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art," ICTM [Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics] Journal 31 (Spring, 2005), 23-28.

Joseph, George Gheverghese, The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics, New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

Martzloff, Jean-Claude, A History of Chinese Mathematics, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1997.

Shen Kangshen, John N. Crossley, and Anthony W.-C. Lun, The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art Companion and Commentary, Oxford: Oxford University Press and Beijing: Science Press, 1999.

Swetz, Frank and T. I. Kao, Was Pythagoras Chinese? An Examination of Right Triangle Theory in Ancient China, University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press and Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1977.

Wikipedia, "The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art,", accessed April 7, 2017.