History Articles

From A Random World to a Rational Universe

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

In the time before the mathematical idea of randomness was discovered, people thought that everything that happened was part of the will of supernatural beings. So have things changed?

History of Trigonometry - Part 2

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

The second of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.

The History of Negative Numbers

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

This article -useful for teachers and learners - gives a short account of the history of negative numbers.

Proof: A Brief Historical Survey

Stage: 4 and 5

If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.

A Brief History of Time Measurement

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5

Noticing the regular movement of the Sun and the stars has led to a desire to measure time. This article for teachers and learners looks at the history of man's need to measure things.

Randomness and Brownian Motion

Stage: 5

In Classical times the Pythagorean philosophers believed that all things were made up from a specific number of tiny indivisible particles called ‘monads’. Each object contained a different number of particles, and so they believed that ‘everything was number’.

The Four Colour Theorem

Stage: 3 and 4

The Four Colour Conjecture was first stated just over 150 years ago, and finally proved conclusively in 1976. It is an outstanding example of how old ideas can be combined with new discoveries. prove a mathematical theorem.

Geometry: A History from Practice to Abstraction

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

This article gives a brief history of the development of Geometry.

The Development of Algebra - 1

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

This is the first of a two part series of articles on the history of Algebra from about 2000 BCE to about 1000 CE.

The Development of Algebra - 2

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

This is the second article in a two part series on the history of Algebra from about 2000 BCE to about 1000 CE.

The History of Trigonometry- Part 1

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

The first of three articles on the History of Trigonometry. This takes us from the Egyptians to early work on trigonometry in China.

Ancient Astronomical Terms

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

Some explanations of basic terms and some phenomena discovered by ancient astronomers

History of Trigonometry - Part 3

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

The third of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.