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Peer Review

Archimedes of Syracuse



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 02, 2002 by Mathematics
Overview: This site provides a wealth of information on the life and accomplishments of Archimedes; special attention is given to his mathematical achievements. A number of quotes from various sources, including Plutarch, are given. Many cross-references to 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 related reviews of the sites href="">MacTutor
History of Mathematics Archive, href="">Galileo
Galilei, and href="">Sir
Isaac Newton.
Type of Material: Reference material.
Technical Requirements: Most of the materials simply require a browser; to view the interactive Java applets for famous curves, the browser must be Java-enabled. Java applets work fine on Windows operating systems; however, they do not seem to work using Macintosh operating systems and Netscape Navigator.
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 the history of mathematics.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Useful for both experienced and casual student users. Nicely written and easy to read. This site includes 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 Archimedes 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.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site contains many crosslinks as well as references to other mathematicians, math history topics, famous curves, and more. There is a nice listing of selected quotations, and links to a poster of Archimedes and other pictures.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Easily readable. Many links, both internal and external, to related topics and mathematicians.
Concerns: Intreractive JAVA on famous curves didn't run on a number of Mac operating systems with Netscape as a browser. Otherwise seemed stable and fast - especially search engine.