Some explanations of basic terms and some phenomena discovered by ancient astronomers
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 humanity's need to measure things.
Can you explain how Galley Division works?
Mathematics has always been a powerful tool for studying, measuring and calculating the movements of the planets, and this article gives several examples.
A brief history of negative numbers throughout the ages
First or two articles about Fibonacci, written for students.
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.
This is the second article in a two part series on the history of Algebra from about 2000 BCE to about 1000 CE.
This article gives a brief history of the development of Geometry.
The first of three articles on the History of Trigonometry. This takes us from the Egyptians to early work on trigonometry in China.
The second of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.
A brief article written for pupils about mathematical symbols.
This article -useful for teachers and learners - gives a short account of the history of negative numbers.
Infinity is not a number, and trying to treat it as one tends to be a pretty bad idea. At best you're likely to come away with a headache, at worse the firm belief that 1 = 0. This article discusses. . . .
Read all about Pythagoras' mathematical discoveries in this article written for students.
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.
Second of two articles about Fibonacci, written for students.
Dr James Grime takes an Enigma machine in to schools. Here he describes how the code-breaking work of Turing and his contemporaries helped to win the war.
Pythagoras of Samos was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 580 BC to about 500 BC. Find out about the important developments he made in mathematics, astronomy, and the theory of music.
Simon Singh describes PKC, its origins, and why the science of code making and breaking is such a secret occupation.
Can you make a hypothesis to explain these ancient numbers?
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?
Hilbert's Hotel has an infinite number of rooms, and yet, even when it's full, it can still fit more people in!
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 third of three articles on the History of Trigonometry.
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you find its length?
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 second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
What was it like to learn maths at school in the Victorian period? We visited the British Schools Museum in Hitchin to find out.
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?
What would you do if your teacher asked you add all the numbers from 1 to 100? Find out how Carl Gauss responded when he was asked to do just that.
Calendars were one of the earliest calculating devices developed by civilizations. Find out about the Mayan calendar in this article.
Leonardo who?! Well, Leonardo is better known as Fibonacci and this article will tell you some of fascinating things about his famous sequence.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
This article describes the scope for practical exploration of tessellations both in and out of the classroom. It seems a golden opportunity to link art with maths, allowing the creative side of your. . . .
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Can you identify the mathematicians?
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.
This article looks at the importance in mathematics of representing places and spaces mathematics. Many famous mathematicians have spent time working on problems that involve moving and mapping. . . .
Who first used fractions? Were they always written in the same way? How did fractions reach us here? These are the sorts of questions which this article will answer for you.
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
Most stories about the history of maths seem to be about men. Here are some famous women who contributed to the development of modern maths and prepared the way for generations of female. . . .
This article for pupils and teachers looks at a number that even the great mathematician, Pythagoras, found terrifying.
This article tells you all about some early ways of measuring as well as methods of measuring tall objects we can still use today. You can even have a go at some yourself!
Have you ever noticed how mathematical ideas are often used in patterns that we see all around us? This article describes the life of Escher who was a passionate believer that maths and art can be. . . .
Read this article to find out about the discoveries and inventions of Archimedes.
Have you ever wondered how maps are made? Or perhaps who first thought of the idea of designing maps? We're here to answer these questions for you.
If you would like a new CD you would probably go into a shop and buy one using coins or notes. (You might need to do a bit of saving first!) However, this way of paying for the things you want did. . . .
Read all about the number pi and the mathematicians who have tried to find out its value as accurately as possible.
Read about David Hilbert who proved that any polygon could be cut up into a certain number of pieces that could be put back together to form any other polygon of equal area.