MATH380-12S1 (C) Semester One 2012

Mathematics in Perspective

15 points, 0.1250 EFTS
20 Feb 2012 - 24 Jun 2012


Topics in the history, philosophy, directions and culture of mathematics including significant results from the past and an outline of some major areas of progress in the 20th century.

What is mathematics? Where did mathematics come from and was it discovered or invented?  What are some of the key moments in the history of mathematics? What kinds of mathematical results are considered important, and why? How does being human affect the mathematics we do? What is the link between the abstract mathematical world and the physical world we experience? What is the connection between literacy and mathematics?

Get insight into the questions, challenges, and crises that mathematicians have faced throughout history and the ways in which they tackled and resolved them.  Reflect upon the features and foundations of contemporary mathematics and speculate on future initiatives.

This course is about the history, philosophy, people and major results of mathematics over the centuries. The course should be accessible not only to those with a 200 level mathematics background, but also to intellectually mature students in philosophy and related subjects. In particular, it is strongly recommended for anyone who intends teaching mathematics at any level from primary school onwards.

Learning Outcomes

Students who have succeeded in this course will:

  • be able to access information about the history and philosophy of mathematics from a variety of sources, and to critically evaluate that information
  • know about some major developments in the history and philosophy of mathematics
  • understand these developments in terms of the historical context in which they occurred and in terms of their relationship to modern mathematics
  • be able to communicate with peers and with lay people about developments and themes in the history and philosophy of mathematics


30 points in Mathematics or Statistics or Engineering Mathematics at 100 level. 45 points from the BA or BSc Schedule at 200 level in Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering Mathematics, related subjects, or other subjects with good grades, as approved by the Head of School.


MATH301, MATH433, HAPS405

Streams Day Time Where Notes
Stream 01 Wednesday 1:00pm-2:00pm Law 528B 20 Feb - 1 Apr,
30 Apr - 3 Jun
Thursday 3:00pm-4:00pm Law 528B 20 Feb - 1 Apr,
23 Apr - 3 Jun

Streams Day Time Where Notes
Stream 01 Thursday 4:00pm-5:00pm Erskine 111 20 Feb - 1 Apr,
23 Apr - 3 Jun

Course Coordinator

Clemency Montelle


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
6 x Homework Assignments 30%
Project 30%
Take Home Test 40%

Course links

MATH380 Homepage

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $622.00

International fee $3,200.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Mathematics and Statistics.

All MATH380 Occurrences

  • MATH380-12S1 (C) Semester One 2012
  • MATH380-12S1 (D) Semester One 2012 (Distance)