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DP The History of Numbers: Home

This guide is meant to help you identify useful resources for your Grade 11 Math Studies project.

Research Tools

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Print Resources

Science and Philosophy of Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks laid the foundations for modern philosophy and science. This fascinating volume first explains how early Greek thinkers searched for the underlying principles of nature and then chronicles their achievements in astronomy, atomic theory, mathematics, biology, botany, medicine, geography, mechanics, and ethics.

Arab Science and Invention in the Golden Age

Named one of the "Best Children's Book of the Year, 2008" by Bank Street College of Education Named a "Notable Book for Children, 2008" bySmithsonian "Highly recommended for public and school library nonfiction collections for young adults."--Midwest Book Review "An excellent little book aimed essentially at young readers, but informative for those of any age. Highest rating."--Science Books & Films

Mathematics in the Time of the Pharaohs

In the past, scholars have tended to dismiss the mathematics of the ancient Egyptians as "child's play," compared with the achievements of the Greeks and other later civilizations. Nevertheless, in a society that achieved the marvelous accuracy of construction revealed in the Pyramids, extensive systems of irrigation canals, the erection of large granaries, levying and collecting of taxes, and other evidences of a well-organized and highly developed culture, mathematics must have played a major role. In this remarkably erudite work, the first book-length study of ancient Egyptian mathematics, Professor Gillings examines the development of Egyptian mathematics from its origins in commercial and practical computations to such accomplishments as the solution of problems in direct and inverse proportion; the solution of linear equations of the first degree; determining the sum of arithmetical and geometrical progressions, and the use of rudimentary trigonometric functions in describing the slopes of pyramids. 

The Art of Mathematics

"Creative mathematicians seldom write for outsiders, but when they do, they usually do it well. Jerry King is no exception." — Nature "Touch[es] the mathematical grandeur that the first geometers contemplated." — Publishers Weekly "Witty, trenchant, and provocative." — Mathematical Association of America A simple algebraic formula can reduce otherwise intelligent people to shamefaced confusion. Why are so many people so puzzled by mathematics? Clear, concise, and superbly written, this book reveals the beauty at the heart of mathematics — and it makes that beauty accessible to everyone, demonstrating the humor of calculus, the sweetness in pi, and the poetry of numbers. Mathematics professor and poet Jerry P. King writes with passion and wit of Euclid, Yeats, Poincaré, and Rembrandt, drawing examples from axioms, paintings, and symphonies. The Art of Mathematics explores the difference between real, rational, and complex numbers; analyzes the intellectual underpinnings of pure and applied mathematics; and illustrates the fundamental connection between aesthetics and math. King also sheds light on how mathematicians pursue their research, and how our educational system perpetuates the imagined divisions between the "two cultures."

The Mathematical Universe

Contains a wealth of amusing stories and little known facts from the annals of math. All proofs and equations are introduced through easy-to-follow, step-by-step explanations. Discusses some of the most intriguing mysteries such as Russell's Paradox. Features brief biographies of many great mathematicians including Issac Newton, Bertrand Russell and Hypatia of Alexandria.

The Ancient Maya

The ancient Maya were known for their amazing pyramids, elaborate writing system, and endeavors in mathematics and science. They also built magnificent cities, such as Tikal, Copan, and Palenque. The culture began to collapse when the Spanish invaded the region in the 1500s. Today, some of the cultural traditions and languages of the ancient Maya are carried on by their descendants in Mexico and Central America. This book explores the ancient Maya through social structure. It details the duties of a ruler, the activities of a farmer, and much more. It also describes some of the discoveries and writings that have led to our present-day understanding of this fascinating culture. People of the Ancient World creates portraits of life in ancient civilizations through a look at the inhabitants. 

Aztec, Inca, and Maya

We rely on technology to make our lives easier, faster, and better. Our buildings, machinery, vehicles, clothes, metals, food, medicines, and weapons depend upon it. But many of the technologies we currently use have their origins in the distant past. Technology in Times Past looks at civilizations in the ancient and medieval worlds and explains the technological advances made in those times.


Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians

Explore the daily lives of ancient Egyptians in this exciting new update of one of the most successful Daily Life titles. Through reconstructions based on the hieroglyphic inscriptions, paintings from tombs, and scenes from temple walls, readers can examine social and material existence in one of the world's oldest civilizations. Narrative chapters explore the preparation of food and drink, religious ceremonies and cosmology, work and play, the arts, military domination, and intellectual accomplishments. With material garnered from recent excavations and research, including new content on construction, pyramid building, ship building, and metallurgy, this up-to-date volume caters to the ever-evolving needs of today's readers. A timeline, an extensive "research center" bibliography, and over 20 new photos make this a must-have reference source for modern students of ancient history.

Helpful Websites

This is a great website for exploring the mathematics of various cultures.

Math Is Fun is another great website for exploring this topic.