Nature and Growth Of Ideas in Mathematics

Course Code: NATS 1920 A 6.0

Instructor's Name:

Course Description:

This course explores some of the most important ideas in the history of mathematics. Rather than focusing on the technical content of theorems and equations, the course aims to an understanding of how mathematical thinking arose, what its character is, and how it relates to the social context and to our greater grasp of the world. The topics considered may include: the origins of counting and number systems; practical geometry and the emergence of demonstrative geometry; its application to understanding the mysteries of the heavens; how mathematics became the language of science, and the mathematical expression of natural laws; the theory of probability and the rise of statistics; the puzzle of infinity and infinitesimals; the history of computation.

Course Format:

Three lecture hours per week.

Course Credit Exclusions:


Mathematical Content:

The entire course is about mathematics, but students are not expected to be proficient in mathematics beyond about a Grade 10 level. More familiarity will probably be helpful, though not mandatory.

Course Outlines:

Archived Course Outline:

Archived Course Outline