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MATH360 - Mathematics History and Development

Course Details

Course Code: MATH360 Course ID: 4544 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course will introduce students to the historical development of the disciplines of mathematics. Within the discipline of mathematics, we will examine the development of numbers and number systems, geometry and measurement, algebra, probability and statistics, calculus, and discrete mathematics. Throughout this course, students will study the history of mathematics and mathematics education through readings, case studies, and problem sets. (Prerequisite: MATH320)


Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/31/18 - 05/31/19 06/03/19 - 07/28/19 Spring 2019 Session D 8 Week session
03/25/19 - 08/30/19 09/02/19 - 10/27/19 Summer 2019 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • Describe the development of various areas of mathematics within and across various civilizations.
  • Examine the changing character of mathematics over time.
  • Examine historical questions.
  • Describe examples of significant applications of mathematics to commerce, science, and general life in the past and present.
  • Distinguish when the interpretations of the past are not always factual.

Reading Assignments: Please refer to the Course Outline section of this syllabus for the weekly reading assignments or the lessons section in the classroom.

Forum Assignments: Under the forum link you will see at least one forum topic each week. The purpose of the forum is for us to have a class discussion over the topics we are learning about each week. This course is very discussion driven, so it is crucial to participate in the discussions each week. I have worked hard to set the forum up with topics worthy of our discussion, but if you find a topic you think we should discuss post it and start your own conversation just like you would in a classroom setting. Most topics will be much more enjoyable when discussed with others instead of just reading on your own. You will be required to post several times each week in a way that contributes to the discussion. Please see the grading rubric in the lessons section of the course and note that I will be grading the forums at a higher level than you may have seen in the past, as this is a 300 level course. Please see the directions on the forum and in the lessons for more information. Each week you will earn up to 25 points on the forum. Your forum participation will be 20% of your course grade.

Assignments: You will be required to complete three assignments that can be found in the assignments section of the classroom. There will be one due at the end of week #2, 4 and 6. Most of the problems will come from your textbook, so you will want to keep that handy and be sure to do your reading before you tackle the assignment. Each problem will be worth 10 points regardless of the difficulty level. There will be more than 15 problems on each assignment, so you will be required to choose the 15 problems you would like to submit. Please read the lesson and assignment section of the course for greater detail. You will need to download the assignment and complete it. Each assignment will cover two weeks worth of material and will be worth 150 points (15%). Your three assignments combined will be 45% of your course grade.

Research Paper: You will be required to write a 4 – 6 page paper in this course due at the end of week #7. You will choose a mathematical topic and describe its evolution through time. You will find more details in the assignments and lesson sections of the course. Your paper will be worth 20% of your course grade.

Final Exam: The final exam will be a cumulative exam with 14 short answer/essay questions. The questions will be similar to the ones on the assignments but more cumulative in nature. The final exam will be not be a timed exam. The exam will be open Monday – Sunday of week #8. You can access the exam as many times as like. You may be required to do some research to answer the questions completely. I expect you to access and work on the exam during the entire week, and I expect your work to reflect that kind of effort. You must submit your final exam by 11:55 PM ET on Sunday of Week #8. The Final Exam will be worth 15% of your course grade.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week #1: Introduction 2.50 %
Week #2: Base Systems and Surprises in Ancient History 2.50 %
Week #3: The Classical Problems 2.50 %
Week #4: The Greeks were Amazing 2.50 %
Week #5: If telephones existed in the past . . . 2.50 %
Week #6: Newton vs Leibniz and Slide Rules 2.50 %
Week #7: Peer Review 2.50 %
Week #8: Final Debriefing 2.50 %
Assignments 45.00 %
APUS Honor Code and Pledge 0.10 %
Assignment 1: Chapters 1 - 7 14.97 %
Assignment 2: Chapters 8 - 18 14.97 %
Assignment 3: Chapters 19 - 24 and 28 - 34 14.97 %
Research Paper 20.00 %
Research Paper Topic 1.00 %
Research Paper: The Evolution of Mathematics 19.00 %
Final Exam 15.00 %
Final Exam 15.00 %
Unassigned 0.00 %
Final Exam 0.00 %

Required Readings: See the course outline.
In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name Web Site URL/Address
Rowan College History of Math Website ath/HistoryofMathpdffiles.html
The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive
Math Archives: History of Mathematics

Book Title:The History of Mathematics: A Brief Course, 3rd ed - eBook is available through the APUS Online Library.
Author:Cooke, Roger
Unit Cost:$95.52
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #. You must be logged in to eCampus first to access the links.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.