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Guidelines for Convergence Authors

MAA Convergence (where mathematics, history, and teaching converge!) publishes articles about the history of mathematics and its use in teaching. It is aimed at teachers of mathematics at both the secondary and collegiate levels. Preference is given to topics from grades 8–16 mathematics, with special emphasis on topics from grades 8–14: algebra, combinatorics, synthetic and analytic geometry, trigonometry, probability and statistics, elementary functions, calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra.

We invite you to submit for publication in Convergence articles of the following types:

  • Classroom activities, projects, or modules may be designed for a few minutes, days, or weeks of instruction in grades 8–16 classes. Although most will be self-contained articles showing how to use history in the teaching of a particular topic, these products also may serve as companion pieces to articles published in Convergence or other MAA journals, providing instructions and/or tools for using information from those articles in classroom settings. Authors should give potential users as much direction as possible about when and how to use the activity, project, or module (e.g. in which courses? to introduce, develop, and/or review a topic? to replace or supplement traditional instruction? in class and/or homework? how much time for each? individual or group work?) We invite you to share with our readers how you are using the history of mathematics in your classroom!
  • Expository articles on the history of topics in the grades 8–16 mathematics curriculum and ideas for using the material in the classroom, ideally along with interactive components, animations, colorful graphics, and/or links that take advantage of the online setting. We invite you to share your expertise or to take the opportunity to learn more about a topic by writing an article about it!
    • Math historians: Consider sharing with Convergence readers your latest mathematics history research, taking advantage of our online format and emphasizing suggestions for grades 8–16 classroom use.
    • Math educators: Share your latest research on the role of mathematics history in mathematics education or your latest history-based instructional materials (see "Classroom activities" above).
  • Classroom testimonials describing your experiences using a particular teaching aid, article, book, or website in the classroom. They may range from informal to formal evaluation, and the outcome may be adoption, adaption, or rejection.
  • Translations of primary sources, accompanied by commentary explaining the work and its context, which show Convergence readers how mathematical ideas were developed in various cultures and how knowledge of these developments can be used in teaching the same ideas to today's students.

As each of these descriptions indicate, Convergence articles must address how the history discussed in an article has been—or could be—employed in a mathematics classroom. For examples of how these classroom connections can be made, please see our tipsheet, Connecting History to the Mathematics Classroom.

We also welcome you to submit items for the following features:

  • "Mathematical Treasures" highlights images of of important books, manuscripts, and objects in the history of mathematics.
  • "Problems from Another Time" highlights historical problems.
  • "On This Day" is a listing of three or four historic mathematical events that happened on each date.
  • "Today's Quotation" is a quotation about mathematics from a historical figure selected from an alphabetized list of quotations.
  • The "Calendar" is an up-to-date guide to conferences and events around the world that feature or include the history of mathematics and its use in teaching.

How to Submit an Article:

Submissions should be sent electronically to the editors (see below for e-mail links). Articles sent in LaTeX, Word, pdf, or html formats are welcome, as is a temporary URL for a posted version of your article with all images, applets, etc. in place.

All submissions undergo an initial screening by the editors. At that point, editors may decline publication without further evaluation or send a submission back to the author(s) for minor or major revisions before it is sent out for additional peer review by one or more referees. All refereeing is at least single blind (i.e., referees' identities are unknown to authors) and is double blind when this is feasible. Editors may appoint additional referees, request minor or major revisions from authors, or commit to a final decision about a manuscript at any point during the review process.

For your final submission of an accepted article, please plan to submit:

  • For an article with very little mathematical notation, a Word or any text file.
  • For an article with much mathematical notation, a LaTeX file or an html file incorporating MathJax. Please use arrays rather than tables.
  • Parenthetical citations and a reference list in the Author-Date form of Chicago Citation Style.
  • Images in separate files in png or jpg format and links to any applets posted at GeoGebra's Classroom Resources site. Each applet must fit in a window no greater than 700 pixels wide.

More about applets: We have a definite preference for applets created using the free software GeoGebra, because these applets can be hosted by our MAA account in GeoGebra's Classroom Resources. (Similarly, videos will be hosted by the Convergence channel on YouTube.) As you create applets, please keep in mind that each applet must fit in a window no greater than 700 pixels wide. If you have an idea for animation or interactivity in an article, but do not know how to produce applets for it, we suggest you first search for an applet in GeoGebra Classroom Resources that's similar to what you have in mind, examine its source code, and see if you can modify it to get what you want. If this fails, please contact an expert on your own campus for help. If that fails, please contact the editors (Amy Ackerberg-Hastings and Daniel Otero) and they will attempt to assist you.

More about Mathematical Treasures: Please include the following components:

  • High-quality and informative images of a historical mathematical book or object. Images of books typically include the title page and one or more samples of the content. Please remember to check the Index for works that are already included in the collection, although we may be interested in earlier editions of books that are currently only depicted in late printings.
  • Permission from the owner of the book or object to publish the images.
  • Approximately 300 words of text describing the historical significance of the book and author (or object and creator). The text should also explain why the examples you have chosen are historically or pedagogically interesting. Think about why or how another instructor might want to use these images in the classroom. This text must be original to you; do not copy from Wikipedia, MacTutor, or any other source. Please also note placements of images within the text.
  • A bibliography of any sources used in preparing the description.
  • Information on the owning repository for the Acknowledgments.

How to Sign Up to Serve as a Referee:

If you would be willing to serve as a referee for articles submitted to Convergence, please let the editors know which topics and types of articles you would prefer to review.

Convergence editors:
   Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, Independent Scholar
   Daniel Otero, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio

Convergence founding editors: 
   Victor Katz, University of the District of Columbia
   Frank Swetz, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

Past editors: 
   Janet Beery, University of Redlands
   Janet Heine Barnett, Colorado State University Pueblo

Convergence associate editors:
   Phil Blau, Shawnee State University
   Eugene Boman, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
   Ximena Catepillán, Millersville University
   Abe Edwards, Michigan State University, Harrisburg
   Toke Knudsen, State University of New York, Oneonta
   Stacy Langton, University of San Diego
   Betty Mayfield, Hood College
   Adam Parker, Wittenberg University
   Andrew Perry, Springfield College
   Adrian Rice, Randolph-Macon College
   Laura Turner, Monmouth University

Past associate editors:
   Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, University of Maryland University College
   Janet Heine Barnett, Colorado State University, Pueblo
   Paul Bialek, Trinity International University
   Maureen Carroll, University of Scranton, Pennsylvania
   Kathleen Clark, Florida State University, Tallahassee
   Lawrence D’Antonio, Ramapo College of New Jersey
   Sloan Despeaux, Western Carolina University
   Doug Ensley, Shippensburg State University, Pennsylvania
   Joel Haack, University of Northern Iowa
   Victor Katz, University of the District of Columbia
   Michael Molinsky, University of Maine, Farmington
   Daniel Otero, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
   Elyn Rykken, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
   Gabriela Sanchis, Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania
   Randy Schwartz, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan
   Amy Shell-Gellasch, Eastern Michigan University
   Jody Sorensen, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota
   Lee Stemkoski, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York
   Gary Stoudt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
   Frank Swetz, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
   Erik Tou, University of Washington, Tacoma