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The Birth of the Meter

by Randy K. Schwartz

Award: Trevor Evans

Year of Award: 2009

Publication Information: Math Horizons, September 2008, pp. 14-17, 31

Summary: In this article, the author gives a historical perspective of the development of the meter as a precise form of measurement beginning his account in the wake of the French Revolution.

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About the Author: Randy K. Schwartz holds degrees in mathematics from Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan. He is a professor of mathematics at Schoolcraft College, a community college in Livonia, Michigan where he has taught since 1984. At Schoolcraft, his teaching focuses on preparing students for careers in engineering, science, health care, and business. Professor Schwartz has also worked to bring the historical contributions of Arab and other cultures into the mathematics curriculum, and has participated in international conferences on the history of Arab mathematics. In 2000, he was awarded the Democracy in Higher Education Prize (National Education Association) for his essay, “Unity in Multiplicity: Lessons from the Alhambra,” an argument for a multicultural approach in mathematics education.

Subject classification(s): Ordinary Differential Equations | Differential & Difference Equations | Trigonometry | Geometry and Topology | Units of Measurement | Measurement | Numbers and Computation
Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 24, 2013