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Broad Topics > History and Philosophy of Mathematics > History of mathematics

Galley Division

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you explain how Galley Division works?

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 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.

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.

Babylon Numbers

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?

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. . . .

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.

Keeping it Safe and Quiet

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5

Simon Singh describes PKC, its origins, and why the science of code making and breaking is such a secret occupation.

History of Trigonometry - Part 3

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

The third of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.

History of Trigonometry - Part 2

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

The second of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.

Maths in the Victorian Classroom

Stage: 2 and 3

What was it like to learn maths at school in the Victorian period? We visited the British Schools Museum in Hitchin to find out.

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?

The Secret World of Codes and Code Breaking

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

When you think of spies and secret agents, you probably wouldn’t think of mathematics. Some of the most famous code breakers in history have been mathematicians.

Magic Squares II

Stage: 4 and 5

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

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.

History of Morse

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5

This short article gives an outline of the origins of Morse code and its inventor and how the frequency of letters is reflected in the code they were given.

Circles, Circles Everywhere

Stage: 2 and 3

This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.

Ishango Bone

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Short Challenge Level:

Can you decode the mysterious markings on this ancient bone tool?

Negative Numbers

Stage: 3

A brief history of negative numbers throughout the ages

Shaping the Universe II - the Solar System

Stage: 3 and 4

The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.

Shaping the Universe I - Planet Earth

Stage: 3 and 4

This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.

Ancient Astronomical Terms

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

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

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.