The roots of mathematical thought reach as far back as the beginnings of human history, and many of the foundational ideas behind the modern standards of proof and scientific inquiry were conceived thousands of years ago. This OLE is an introductory course in the history of mathematics and its applications in the development of modern civilisation. You will learn about number systems of early indigenous Australian societies and discover the arithmetic and applied mathematics of the ancient Egyptians that made the construction of their great works possible. You will explore ancient Greek mathematics, from Pythagoras to Euclid and Archimedes, and their role in the development of contemporary science. You will learn how the ancestors of today¿s numerals were conceived in India and made their way to Arab and Medieval European mathematics. You will study the Medieval mathematical understanding of the infinite. You will study primary source documents, such as the Ahmes and Moscow Papyri and Euclid¿s foundational work Elements and conduct further research on a topic of your choice. By completing this unit, you will develop quantitative reasoning skills, and enhance your ability to read mathematical and technical text. You will gain a deeper understanding of the methods of mathematics and science, and how historical ideas underpin modern mathematical thought and reasoning. In your final essay, you will explore a historical mathematical topic of your choosing and use your newly attained knowledge to also review and provide feedback on the essay of one of your peers.
online modules and 2 x 3-hr meetings
2 x online quizzes (35%), in-workshop quiz (15%), workshop active participation (10%), essay (45%), essay peer-review (5%)
HSC Mathematics or equivalent and familiarity with basic scientific method