About This Website on Teaching Mathematics and its History
I selected and developed all of the content available on this website. As a Mathematics Professor, my focus has been on providing quality professional development for mathematics teachers (K-14), which includes creating resources that enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics. The history of mathematics is an important part of this focus.
I have taught WWU’s History of Mathematics course more than 35 times; I first proposed its creation as a writing-intensive course for WWU mathematics majors. Rapidly, I discovered that not only were my mathematics history courses improved by engaging students in rich problem-solving experiences that transcended those found in the standard texts but also that my other mathematics courses were improved by including ideas from the history of mathematics.
The Historical Problem-solving Experiences (about 300 pages) were written with the intent of publishing them as a resource text. For multiple reasons, this plan became problematic. The intended publisher closed their college-division, the resulting format of the materials (e.g. live links) became a dilemma, and the materials unexpectedly evolved into two distinct sets of materials—a student set (goals, historical context, problem exploration, problem extension) and a teacher’s set (solutions, pedagogical discussions, writing projects, resources).
Multiple interactions about these materials with secondary and college mathematics teachers suggested that more was needed beyond the intensive problem explorations. Teachers wanted ideas on how they could incorporate historical content into their mathematics courses. This new web site seemed the best venue for distributing the full set of materials at no expense for use by a wide audience of teachers and students.
If you discover content, factual, or mathematical errors on this website, blame me. And, if you find the website useful and of value, then GREAT!
Jerry Johnson, Mathematics Department
Western Washington University