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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: MATH 330
Course Title: History of Mathematics
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: The goals of this course are to develop knowledge of the contributions made by mathematicians and the influence these contributions have made to the development of human thought and culture over time. The course provides a chronological tracing of mathematics from the ancient Chinese into modern times, with an emphasis on problems and the individuals who formulated and solved them. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in MATH 222. Course meets World/Eastern Culture graduation requirement.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Grade of C or higher in MATH 222.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

The History of Mathematics: An Introduction
By Burton, D.M. (Pearson)
An Introduction to the History of Mathematics
By Eves, H. (Saunders College Publishing)
A History of Mathematics
By Katz, V.J. (Addison Wesley)
Course Objectives
  • To acquaint the student with the impact of historical mathematics on contemporary society, and the impact of social, economic and cultural forces on the development of mathematics.
  • To study mathematics from the perspective of those who developed it.
  • To examine the influence of earlier mathematics upon contemporary theory, and to examine the interrelations among the various branches of mathematics.
    Measurable Learning
  • Provide an overview of the development of mathematics throughout history and its interaction with the culture.
  • Provide historical perspective for the discipline and thus place significant topics and concepts within their appropriate historical context.

  • Recognize numerical representations in ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Roman numerals and convert to our own Hindu-Arabic numberations system.
  • Perform computations using methods and tools of ancient cultures.
  • Solve problems involving Euclidean geometry and number theory.
  • Construct a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • Perform classical Euclidean constructions.
  • Find approximations to π using historical methods, including the method of Archimedes.
  • Know the development of Calculus and the major contributors to this area.
  • Explain the emergence of mathematical ideas within the context of the societies in which they first appeared.
  • Describe and explain the nature of proof and its relationship to mathematics.
  • Explain the importance of mathematics to science and modern society.
  • Give examples of significant historical applications of mathematics to astronomy, geography, timekeeping and everyday life.
  • Provide an explanation relating to the diversity of cultures that developed common mathematical concepts.
  • Explain the major role of religions in influencing mathematical thought.
    Topical Outline:
  • Early numerical systems and the development of Hindu-Arabic numeration
  • Ancient mathematics: Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, and Hindu
  • Medieval and Renaissance mathematics
  • The seventeenth century: development of analytic geometry, probability, modern number theory, and calculus
  • The eighteenth century: exploitation of calculus
  • The nineteenth century: contributions of Gauss, the emergence of algebraic structure
  • Topics from 20th century mathematics

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Ann Schlemper Date: November 7, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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