Euclid’s Elements, ms. from Lüneburg, A.D. 1200

Mathematics – The M in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Mathematics – the body of knowledge centered on such concepts as quantity, structure, space, and change, and also the academic discipline that studies them. Benjamin Peirce called it “the science that draws necessary conclusions”. Other practitioners of mathematics maintain that mathematics is the science of pattern, and that mathematicians seek out patterns whether found in numbers, space, science, computers, imaginary abstractions, or elsewhere.

Mathematician – a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics, or whose contribution to mathematics is significant, e.g. Isaac Newton. Mathematicians explore such concepts, aiming to formulate new conjectures and establish their truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions.

Women in Mathematics – Some prominent female mathematicians are:

  • Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852)
  • Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
  • Emmy Noether (1882 – 1935)
  • Sophie Germain (1776 – 1831)
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850 – 1891)
  • Rózsa Péter (1905 – 1977)
  • Julia Robinson (1919 – 1985)
  • Olga Taussky-Todd (1906 – 1995)
  • Émilie du Châtelet (1706 – 1749)
  • Mary Cartwright (1900 – 1998)
  • Hypatia of Alexandria (ca. 400 AD).

Interesting mathematics

That’s engineering

  • binary numeral system, or base-2 number system – a numeral system that represents numeric values using two symbols, usually 0 and 1. Owing to its straightforward implementation in electronic circuitry, the binary system is used internally by all modern computers.

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • Human Calculator (video 3:39) – Julian Fleron perform a trick about adding lots of large number really, really quickly. Figure out how and why the trick works
  • The 9’s Finger Trick (video 1:41) – In this short clip from a movie, “Stand and Deliver,” the character Jaime Escalante shows his students a finger trick for multiplying by 9’s. Figure out how and why this trick works.

Learn more…