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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 it 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? How can craft help us understand mathematics?Explore 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. Experiment with making and manipulating mathematical objects.This course is about the history, philosophy, people and major results of mathematics over the centuries. The course is aimed not just at students with a 200-level mathematics background, but also at intellectually mature students in philosophy and the sciences. Our emphasis on the ‘big picture’ of mathematics and alternative authentic ways to approach it, should also appeal to current or intending mathematics teachers.
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,understand the relationship between mathematics and craft,be able to communicate with peers and with lay people about mathematics.
30 points in Mathematics orStatistics orEngineering Mathematics at 100 level. 45 points from the BA orBSc Schedule at 200 level in Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering Mathematics, related subjects, orother subjects with good grades, as approved by the Head of School.
MATH301, MATH433, HAPS405
Participation: 10%Two mini-assignments (History of Maths): 20%Project (Maths Craft): 20%Two end-of-term take-home tests: 50%
J. Fauvel and J. Gray;
The History of Mathematics. A Reader
A History of Mathematics. An Introduction
Copies of these books will be held on restricted loan in the Engineering and Physical Science Library.
General information for students
Domestic fee $780.00
International fee $4,250.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Mathematics and Statistics