This site provides historical background on the life and accomplishments of Thales of Miletus; special attention is given to numerous and sometimes ambiguous historical sources in an effort to establish accuracy concerning the reputed facts. A number of quotes from various sources are given. Many cross-references to other math history topics, famous mathematical curves, and other sources are included. This is one of a number of sites that are part of the award-winning MacTutor History of Mathematics Archives; please see the review of the MacTutor site for more details.
Type of Material:
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Resource material for student papers on general math/history/mathematicians.Classroom enrichment for instructors.
Target Student Population:
General arts students with little mathematical knowledge or advanced users wanting to investigate this particular aspect of history.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Evaluation and Observation
Useful for both experienced and casual student users. Nicely written and easy to read with many links for those who want to follow up on more of the math details.
Please see the review for the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archives, the parent site for the Thales of Miletus web page. The MacTutor site is a rich and growing source of materials pertaining to the history of mathematics including biographies of mathematicians, mathematics in various cultures, time lines, famous curves (with Java interactivity), overview of math history, in-depth coverage of a large number of history topics, and more. Individual pages contain many crosslinks and material is well-written and useful for both casual and experienced users. There is also a searchable quotation index as well as a selection of recent articles on the history of mathematics education and Indian mathematics. Faculty as well as students will find much here to enrich their mathematical understanding and enjoyment.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Many crosslinks as well as references to other mathematicians, math history topics, famous curves, and more. Link to a poster of Thales and other pictures.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Easily readable. Many links, both internal and external, to related topics and historians.