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Thales of Miletus


Thales of Miletus

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Biography of Thales of Miletus (624BC-547BC)
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Material Type: Reference Material
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: January 22, 2001
Date Modified in MERLOT: September 19, 2010
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Submitter: Tuiren Bratina
Keywords: Math history, Miletus


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Primary Audience: College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: yes
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for Thales of Miletus

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Avatar for dean levita
7 years ago

dean levita (Student)

its really great that theres plenty of biography about mathematician and their works. it is very informative and interesting to read for those who like math and history.

Avatar for Julia Eckhardt
8 years ago

Julia Eckhardt (Student)

a) I spent about 25-35 minutes using this website. It's not particularly large, but it is chock full of information about Thales, who is a mathmetician I'm interested in doing a report about for my own class, which is why I chose those link to look at. I mainly just read through all the different information, and I bookmarked to it so I could keep track of her sources and use the other links on the page. b) Certainly it does present the information well. One can read her paper, see the links to other sites and basically learn all there is to know about Thales, who is educationally significant himself both mathematically and historically. c) I don't think that this website is particularly better than any others I've seen about mathemeticians. It's good information, but for the most part, as a learning or teaching tool, is only average. d) The material itself is easy to use, but could be better organized. Say a student just wanted some basic facts about Thales - this site would be a poor place to look for them because you have to sift through long pieces of text to get to them. However, it's still a good site, just a bit unorganized.

Avatar for shanmugasundaram karuppannagounder
8 years ago

shanmugasundaram karuppannagounder (Student)

I spent about 40 minutes reading about “Thales of Miletus.” This site describes about the biography of a famous Mathematician and Scientist, Thales. Even though he did so many interesting things during his time like calculating a ship out at sea and measuring the pyramids by their shadow but still he is believed to be not as smart as some people thought. He was always questioned with his discoveries and his explanations on the eclipse were viewed by some as a lucky guess. There was not a lot of evidence supporting certain findings that he supposedly discovered. I think this is a very interesting and unusual to know. The material in this site is very significant for educational purposes. And I also believe that knowing about these Mathematicians who had some part in the Mathematical world should be credited by knowing their biographies and their inventions. This is also very enhancing for teachers and students. Overall this site was very interesting and very informative and very easy to use.
Used in course

Avatar for brian stewart
9 years ago

brian stewart (Student)

I basically spent about 20 minutes browsing through this material of Thales. I believe that Thales mush have been a very highly educated person, to be able to measure the height of the pyramids and also predict an eclipse of the moon. I found that very interesting the way he did that even though it was maybe a little luck in doing so. But in all Thales may not have been as educated as he really seems, do to the fact that most of his work wasn’t really his. But the whole materials and information that was given was spectacular and defined very well.

Avatar for Chris Cooper
12 years ago

Chris Cooper (Student)

I spent 10 minutes, very informative. Thales was a very creative person. The
techniques he developed for navigation were interesting. This is a great page
for doing a research paper. I like the extra links it provides for digging up
more information. The content was very consise and easy to understand. Good
reference listings.

Technical Remarks:

I think the page should incorporate more graphics. Color Illustrations,
animation, and sound would be a nice addition to the page.
Used in course

Avatar for Ross macdonald
13 years ago

Ross macdonald (Student)

I spent about 20 minutes reading this page on Thales. This page, about a
mathemetician I had never heard of before, gave me a little bit of a laugh. It
is interesting that this man was cresited with being able to measure the height
of the pyramids, by using the most obvious of means. Again, a well researched
page, but pretty dry, too factual. The facts are complete, with sources, but
still dry. Alll together, the research seems to be terrific, so I give it a 4
Used in course

Avatar for Kevin Henry
13 years ago

Kevin Henry (Student)

I spent 25 minutes reading the biography on Thales. I made sure to read and
understand what all he has done. Since I didn't know of him I took the time to
read up on him and his work on mathematics.
This site was about a man who is said to have some influence on mathematics,
mainly in geometry. Because of the time he was living in, there isn't much work
or writings he did on display. This time period many men have claimed to do
have idea's but no real proof. I did find it interesting that some famous
mathematicians did acknowledge his idea's so he was a starting factor to
mathematics. I think the site used the information that it had and did show
that Thales was a well respected mathematician. He did bring Geometry to the
Greeks and is said to be one of the first Philosophers before Socrates. With
the lack of information on Thales, the site did bring good examples of his work.
I think this could only be used to a biography of Thales life and not
necessarly for teaching of him and his work. Because there isn't a lot of
documentation it is hard to follow his work. But they did talk about his
geometry and his way of measuring pyraminds and shadows. They also talked of
his ideas of the world, how Earth was flat and was on water. Although his ideas
are well dated, he did have the knowledge to explain things and give reasons
why things happen. I think this site was very easy to use, although like I
said before, it is good for a history update on Thales, but to learn exactly
what he did is a little tougher. Although there wasn't a lot from him written
down, he was praised as a fine mathematician.
Used in course

Avatar for Adam Varteressian
14 years ago

Adam Varteressian (Student)

On this site I spent 45 min looking over the life of Thales. He really did some
intresting things in his time like measuring the pyrimids by their shadow and
calculating a ship out at sea. Although I did question the fact if he was as
smart as he made himself out to be, much of his work was discovered by others.
I also learned about him in an astronomy class and this site would have helped
me better understand more about him and his accomplishments. I would use this
in class or if I had project on him.

Technical Remarks:

I seemed to have an easy time finding my way around this site.
Used in course

Avatar for Kevin Kentner
14 years ago

Kevin Kentner (Student)

I spent about 20 minutes browsing through the material. Thales must have been
highly educated for being able to measure the height of the pyramids and also
predicting an eclipse of the moon even though he was a little lucky in doing.
However, Thales may not have been as educated as it seems since most of his work
wasn't really his. But the information was interesting and detailed.
Used in course

Avatar for   Bui
14 years ago

Bui (Student)

This article was not easy to understand, since it is written about a time period
that the average reader has no knowledge of. According to ancient history,
Thales was a philosopher, scientist and mathematician. The only problem with
this assumption is that there exists no actual evidence that he was any of these
professions. He apparently wrote no books and no written evidence exists
supporting his claim to fame. Some references are made to the fact that Thales
was just a predictor based on good guesses. The article seemed disjointed and
jumped from one subject to another. It was hard to keep my interest in this
article and the subject matter.

Avatar for damian camarena
15 years ago

damian camarena (Student)

After about 15 minutes into reading this article I lost interest. However I did
finish reading all of it. It seemed that he was a man who many peopled
questioned about how smart he really was. The way he was able to calculate the
ship at sea was pretty cool. Overall it was a good article with lots and lots
of material and information to look at, but it just didn't grab my attention.
It could possibly be a good project for someone who was interested in Thales.

Avatar for Due Nguyen
15 years ago

Due Nguyen (Student)


Technical Remarks:


Avatar for   yount
15 years ago

yount (Student)

I looked at the material for less than 10 minutes. It did not appeal to me at all. I got really bored reading it. I would probably only use this info if I was writting a paper on Thales of Miletus. It was easy to use.

Avatar for Luke Snider
15 years ago

Luke Snider (Student)

I thought the information that was given was interesting but Thales was believed
to be not as smart as some people thought. He was always questioned with his
discoveries and his explanations on the eclipse was viewed by some as a lucky
guess. There was not a lot of evidence supporting certain findings that he
supposedly discovered. I thought that was real interesting and unusual. Overall
it was interesting and very informative.

Avatar for John Garza
15 years ago

John Garza (Student)

I spent about 15 minutes reading about Thales of Miletus. Most of what I read was not very appealing to me and did not grab my immediate attention. It appeared to me he was not unanimously seen as a great mathamatician. His
prediction of the sun eclipse in 585BC was publically questioned and seen by some as a guess. None-the-less, Thales of Miletus was credited for 5 thereoums of elementary geomatry. I did find his three different methods which he might have used to calculate the distance to a ship at sea very interesting. Overall, this site did not meet my immediate needs. On the other hand, this site would be very useful if someone were in need of research on Thales of Miletus.
There are also numerous links that give you more information on various subjects.

Avatar for Ruth Green
15 years ago

Ruth Green (Student)

I reviewed this site for approximately 10 minutes
I found the information on this site to be accurate to the best of my knowledge
according to what I have studied and learned thus far in mathematics.I think
this site will be very effective because the information is written with a short
and direct explanation, therefore it is not too wordy and the chances of being
more confused about what you are already researching in not very likely. This
site also uses bright attention getting colors, which livens, up the site and it
has great graphics. See
I believe a first time user on this site should have no problem at all using
it, after all I am a fist time user myself.