History of Mathematics Web Sites
There is a phenomenal amount of material on the Internet dealing with
the history of mathematics. Below are listed some of the best sites I
know of. If you don't find what you need here, then try a search.
This page is maintained by David Calvis of the Department of Mathematics and
Computer Science of Baldwin-Wallace
MacTutor History of Mathematics
- This award-winning site is a flagship Internet location for the
history of mathematics, and is a "must-see" because of the wealth of
information it contains. Here you will find biographies of
mathematicians, histories of individual mathematical topics, timelines,
search capabilities and much more. Start with the information
for new users.
Joyce's History of Mathematics Page
- As a complement to the MacTutor History, here is a wealth of
further information on the history of mathematics, including timelines,
chronologies, archives, links to other sites and more. As you explore,
on-line and Prof.
Joyce's home page.
Archives - Topics in Mathematics - History of Mathematics
- Just a branch of the voluminous Mathematics Archives WWW Server
from the University of Tennessee.
Mathematical Museum - History Wing
- A beautiful site with links to lots of fascinating stuff on the
histories of mathematics, computing, and physics and science in general.
Listed in order of earliest date covered
- The Abacus
- A very nice site on this ancient calculating device.
- History of Egyptian and Mesopotamian
- Earliest Known Uses Of Common Mathematical Symbols and Words.
- On-line references on the origins of a great number of common
mathematical conventions; also see Images
of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps, by the same author.
Mathematics in Eastern Asia
- This site contains substantial information about the development
of mathematics in Asia.
- Needham Research
- Deals with the history of Chinese mathematics, including the
- Dr. Gary Stoudt's
Home Page (antiquity - present)
- Some nice material, especially the collection of images
of original documents important to the history of mathematics.
- Teaching with Original
Historical Sources in Mathematics
- Here Reinhard Laubenbacher and David Pengelley provide a variety
of resources for using original source material to teach the history of
- Perseus Digital Library
- Translations of the works of many of ancient authors, including
mathematicians. Euclid's Elements
includes the legendary commentary
of Sir T. L. Heath, with links to Heath's frequent citations of other
- Introduction to
the works of Euclid
- A fine book-by-book outline of the Elements and a good
source on other works by Euclid. Very helpful bibliographic
- A very fine site dealing with all aspects of Archimedes' life and
- "The subject of this website is a manuscript of unique importance to the history of science, the Archimedes Palimpsest..."
Approximation of Pi
- A very nicely-done site giving full details of Archimedes' famous
- Hannibal Barca and the
- Search on Archimedes, a casualty of the Second Punic War.
"The School of Athens"
- Among the cast of this famous
painting are Plato and
(wielding his compass, naturally) and Ptolemy.
Mathematics Exhibit (300 B.C. - 1500)
- This is actually an Internet representation of a Library of
Congress exhibit from 1993 dealing with the Vatican Library and
Renaissance culture. Annotated Greek and Latin manuscripts of
mathematics and astronomy, including big images of the Pythagorean
Theorem in Euclid's Elements, the beginning of Archimedes'"On
Conoids and Spheroids" and much more.
of Woman Mathematicians (400 - present)
- This site is actually an ongoing student project at Agnes Scott
College, a women's college in Georgia, and contains a wealth of
information on the contributions of women to mathematics.
Table of Chords
Life of Hypatiafrom The Suda
- A translation of one of the source materials on Hypatia of
- Institute and
Museum of History of Science (Florence) (c. 1500's on)
- This is a fascinating and extremely well-done site containing a
wealth of material on the history of science in the Tuscan region (area
near Florence, Italy), and especially on the work of Galileo.
- "During the Edo period (1603-1867) Japan was cut off from the
western world. But learned people of all classes, from farmers to
samurai, produced theorems in Euclidean geometry. These theorems
appeared as beautifully colored drawings on wooden tablets which were
hung under one of the roof in the precincts of a shrine or temple. The
tablet was called a SANGAKU which means a mathematics tablet in
Japanese. . . ."
- The Galileo Project (Rice
University) (1564 - 1642)
- If it's Galileo's life and work that you're interested in, then
this well-done and extensive site is the place.
College (Ireland) History Page (c. 1600 - 1870)
- Contains considerable material on a wide variety of seventeenth-
and eighteenth-century mathematicians.
- Gauss proved in 1796 that the regular polygon of seventeen sides
is constructible using compass and straightedge. Here is an
explicit construction of, and lots of other information about, the
regular 17-gon. Also visit the rest of Eric Weisstein's World of
Mathematics (a.k.a. MathWorld), as well as Eric W. Weisstein's
Rickey's Home Page
- Prof. Rickey is a recognized leader in the study and teaching of
the history of mathematics, and his pages are a valuable resource.
- History of Mathematics E-Mail Discussion Lists
- There are at least two such lists active at present, the MAA History List
and the Historia
Matematica mailing list; each of these maintains a searchable
- History of
Math - AMS/MAA
- Describes the mathematical archiving project carried on jointly
by these organizations.
- The Oughtred Society
- Everything about slide rules! Also see JavaSlide:
The WWW's Very First Java Slide Rule.
- British Society for
the History of Mathematics