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MAA to Develop Online Magazine on History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching

MAA to Develop Online Magazine on History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching

By Victor Katz

The MAA has received a planning grant from the National Science Foundation to demonstrate the feasibility of an online magazine in the history of mathematics and its use in teaching. The target audience is teachers of grade 9-14 mathematics, be they secondary teachers, two- or four-year college teachers, or college teachers preparing secondary teachers. Victor J. Katz, University of the District of Columbia, is the PI for the grant and Frank Swetz, Penn State University Harrisburg, is the co-PI.

The two editors aim to have initial articles posted in the Mathematical Sciences Digital Library, currently available at, before the end of 2002. Among the types of possible articles are:

Expository articles dealing with the history of various topics in the secondary curriculum. These articles should appeal to multiple audiences. The bulk of the material should be designed to teach practicing teachers some history and how to use it, but some parts of the article could be aimed at faculty who are preparing teachers and other parts could be directly usable by students. Articles should utilize the online medium; they should have some interactivity, some interesting graphics, some animation, or some full-color illustrations. It is not necessary that the author know how to program. We will have experts to do that. The author just needs to describe in some detail what he/she envisions.

Translations of original sources of material accessible to the target audience. For example, translations of some of Euler's articles would be welcome as well as articles by medieval Indian or Chinese authors. We would prefer, where feasible, to post both the original and the translation and include commentary on the context of the material. We would like to have links to other sources dealing with the mathematician involved and, of course, have interactivity or animation if warranted.

Historical problems: these could be problems taken directly from historical sources or could be created to allow students to construct their own knowledge of a particular topic by following the historical development. A comment on the context and source of the problem would be useful, and, again interactivity would be welcome.

If you have already written material that would be appropriate for this magazine, or if you just have an idea for a possible article, please send an email to Victor Katz ( with as much detail as possible.

News Date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2002