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MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive


MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive

Logo for MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive
An award-winning site concerning the history of mathematics. In-depth coverage of numerous people, topics, mathematical curves, and more. Extensively cross-linked; powerful search engine. Rich and growing source of materials.
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Material Type: Reference Material
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: April 19, 2001
Date Modified in MERLOT: February 23, 2017
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Submitter: James Rutledge
Keywords: math history, Mathematics in Scotland, Egyptian mathematics, American mathematics, mathematicians, Arabic mathematics, Chinese mathematics, Indian mathematics, Mayan mathematics, Babylonian mathematics, Greek mathematics, famous curves


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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: Web browser for most content; Java-enabled browser for limited number of interactive Java applets concerning famous mathematical curves.
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Avatar for John Redden
4 years ago

John Redden (Faculty)

Excellent resource for any Mathematics course. I use it often.

Avatar for Darla Cooley
7 years ago

Darla Cooley (Student)

Wow, Very interesting so much information to review alot of time went into this material. This content was extremly easy to browse. This site is very helpful in using as a resource or just for enjoyment. This also would be a great way to get students more interested in math/history/cultures. People could very easily use this in the classroom in several different ways. First time users could find it very easy to use
Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour
Used in course

Avatar for Roslyn Hoover
7 years ago

Roslyn Hoover (Student)

I first browsed through the material for about ten minutes; I then narrowed my search to ancient Babylonian mathematics. Had incredible amounts of information with pictures and graphs. Easy to understand and get around the graphs and pictures were significant to the subject matter, I could spend hours on here getting information about the history of math. This site has so much information: links to encyclopedias, biographies, glossaries, quotations, timelines this is such a great resource for students and teachers to learn. tool to demonstrate mathematics in a way where its fast and much easier to teach. I found this website very user friendly it was organized in such a great way. When I looked up Babylonian mathematics it had lots of subcategories that gave great information and served as a great learning tool.

Avatar for Kris Mims
7 years ago

Kris Mims (Student)

A bevy of resources at your disposal. Very imformative. I browsed around and found pretty much everything you need for math. I love the time line of mathematics ecspecially. Tell you the famous mathematicians of their times. Very fun and cool
Time spent reviewing site: 25 minutes.

Avatar for Adrienne Reed
7 years ago

Adrienne Reed (Student)

I was quite pleased to find this site, as the history of math was the direction I had planned to take for future assignment in my math G class. There is a wealth of information that will benefit me greatly; whether it be in the way of a particular person that I focused on, or a certain time period. I spent about an hour looking at the website, and not only found information on people of math from past time periods, but calulations, pictures, graphs, cartoon strips, and much more. Although the visual quality of the website looks a little amateur, the content is rich in details, yet there is clarity of understating for someone such as myself who is not math savvy.
Time spent reviewing site: I spent about one hour reviewing the site. However, I do plan to utilize it much more in future assignments.

Avatar for Jenelle Valles
7 years ago

Jenelle Valles (Student)

I spent more than one hour reviewing and using the materials on this website. I used the materials for my classroom activities. I found The History of Mathematics, and especially, the biographies in this site to be fascinating.

Technical Remarks:

The quality of the content of this site accurately presents concepts and models that are educationally significant. There are biographies, timelines, and reports that present the history of math in a way that is easily understood. Students' learning and faculty's teaching will definitely be enhanced by using this website. Students can easily locate information, and faculty can refer students to the website. This website is large, and I am sure that I will continue to spend more time reading it. The website is easy to maneuver.
Time spent reviewing site: Today I spent more than one hour reviewing this website. I am sure that I will spend many more hours this semester reading the biographies and articles. First time users will enjoy using this website. There is so much interesting material.

Avatar for Reina Batto
7 years ago

Reina Batto (Student)

At first, I was overwhelmed by the contents of the material, but as soon as I started reading I found it very interesting. The site offers a lot of excellent historical background of various cultures, biographies of mathematicians, well detailed time line, and a lot of references. I will definitely use this site for future reference.

Technical Remarks:

All links are simple and well organized.Alphabetical and chronological index for easy access. The site is user friendly too.
Time spent reviewing site: I spent about 30 minutes browsing this site.

Avatar for Angela Mullin
7 years ago

Angela Mullin (Student)

Outstanding site! Within two clicks I was right where I wanted to be. Very rich in content on the History of Mathematics, educationally significant for any college student. Visual learners will appreciate the symbols, maps, equations and photos. Excellent overview of Mathematics in various cultures from the Ancient Babylonians to the Americans and Scotts. Each overview has links that take you to specific biographies. A History Topics Index simplifies your search. All printer friendly. Index is clear, specific.

Technical Remarks:

Very easy to navigate from one link to the next. Color highlighted links with generous spacing for ease in reading topics. Each topic has numerous links to do further research. Excellent source for teachers or students. Very well written.
Time spent reviewing site: 2 hours.

Avatar for Esther Michael
7 years ago

Esther Michael (Student)

As my finals are fast approaching, I thought this site was very useful and informative to write my research paper. It is an award winning site! The Biographies Index helped to find the information that I needed for my biography Ramanujan. The site takes us to mathematics in various cultures and mathematical topics. The site also gives information in alphabetical and chronological order. The birthplace maps is excellent and gives us the accurate name of the city of birth of a ancient mathematicians. Archimedes spiral in Famous curves Index is of great importance and interest. Mathematicians who were born or died on 20th April was very interesting. It was a pleasant surprise to see Indian Mathematicians dated back to 800 B.C. (Baudayana).

Technical Remarks:

Navigation to different sub sites is very easy and accessible to even a lay person like me who does not have much knowledge of computers.
Time spent reviewing site: I spent about 1 hour and 30 minutes on this site.

Avatar for Melissa Rodriguez
7 years ago

Melissa Rodriguez (Student)

I've never seen a website that had so much information in one place about math of all topics. He or she can find out about mathematicians as far back in time as possible. I even click on a site that had every women mathematician and their background. And specific dates that you could click on to find out who was born or died on that day. The math topics itself; he or she could get the definition. I just thought this was an amazing site to view. This site, I would definitely tell people about who needs information on any math topic.

Technical Remarks:

I had no difficulty reviewing the content in this website. It took me through one amazing site each time I click on something different. I thought where does it stop. But then I thought do I want it to stop? No, I loved it. Being a student this would be a source to go to for information the first time around.
Time spent reviewing site: I spent probably 20-30mins looking through most of the sites. I was trying to see what I could in the short time that I had because I have so much home work in other classes, but I definitely will return when I'm done with my other class homework.

Avatar for Claudia Ayerdis
8 years ago

Claudia Ayerdis (Student)

This is my first time on this site. I have spent 45 minutes exploring and reviewing different links. I have found the History of Mathematics as one of the links that has sparked my interest. The material is very detailed. There is a quantity of quality information available for either mathematical research or lea sure educational reading. I enjoyed reading the mathematician for the day which was Lazare Carnot (1753 - 1823).

Technical Remarks:

The website takes some getting use to. All the links make it difficult to identify in which direction you are traveling in. After 40 minutes of searching, I have become accustom to the layout. First time users like myself will find this easy as long as long as they are prepared to give the site patience. There is a lot of useful and helpful information on this site.

Avatar for Karambir Kaur
8 years ago

Karambir Kaur (Student)

I spent almost 30 minutes in exploring this site. It is quite an interesting website because there is a lot of information given about the history of mathematicians. The more you explore this site the more information and resources you’ll get. The quality of content is very clear to understand because it gives a detailed time line or information about a specific period of math history. I found that this site is really very effective for enhancing teaching because it gives you the information and biographies of Mathematicians in various cultures and from different parts of the world. This site is very easy to use and browse material and also it gives you the clear instructions about how to use it and its also as easy to use as any other website there are no complications in using this website and the interesting thing is its free.
Used in course

Avatar for Asim Pasha
9 years ago

Asim Pasha (Student)

This site is definitely one of the sites that I bookmark. The historically information regarding math is quiet interesting. There is plenty of information on here that will keep you busy for hours on end. Some unappealing aspects of this site however is the multiple additional sites that must be gone through to actually access the historical information. One item that caught my attention was the time line, I’m still not sure why. I guess it might have been that it took me a few glances at it to grasp what was trying to be taught. Overall I rate this site 8/10, it’s very informative and helpful to any student and or instructor. For anyone with a report on the history of math, THIS IS YOUR SITE!!

Avatar for Jessica Clifford
9 years ago

Jessica Clifford (Student)

I found this site very simple to use. I easily browsed through time lines and biography on famous mathematicians and before I knew it I was way over my head in data but interested in math again. After about 20 minutes or so, I moved on but I thought how this would be a great reference website for a student doing a paper or project on a famous mathematician or a famous moment in math history where a detailed time line or information about a specific period would be helpful. Also, I thought that the website was very user friendly which is really important for general educational usage.

Avatar for manvigas singh
9 years ago

manvigas singh (Student)

this website has alot biographies one alot of people. biographies dont have that much information about the people. the biographies are one page long and some have pic's but not all of them. this website also gives you a lot of informatoin on "Mathematics in various cultures" for example: Ancient Babylonian mathematics Ancient Egyptian mathematics Ancient Greek mathematics Arabic mathematics Chinese mathematics Indian mathematics Mayan mathematics American mathematics Mathematics in Scotland overall its a okay site to see but not so great.

Avatar for Dr. Troy Tenhet
9 years ago

Dr. Troy Tenhet (Teacher (K-12))

Wow!!! This is just what I have been looking for. I will be implementing this in my 6th grade classroom soon.
Used in course

Avatar for varun gandhi
9 years ago

varun gandhi (Student)

I spent about hour+ viewing this site. I really enjoyed finding history of math which is more than I knew before. This includs biographies of math, math in carious cultures, time line, in-depth converage of a large number of history topic. Very simple, informative site. I love math history!!!! I really recomeded a studnet who really want to learn and know about a math history.

Avatar for DucHanh Helen Bui
9 years ago

DucHanh Helen Bui (Student)

This is a simple page but contains a lot of information. At first I don't know what to expect from this website, but the more I read, the more I find out about mathematic. I spent 45 minutes browsing this website and there are so much information that I learned from. This is a great resource page for math researching.

Avatar for Errol Picazo
9 years ago

Errol Picazo (Student)

I entered the site not knowing what to expect. I spent about two hours following different historical biographies. The site is very complete and thorough. It provide information on the history of mathematics. There a lot of interesting information and it was very informative. The more you explore the site, you can find more resources. The selection of topics on the history of mathematics enriched me. There is also a searchable quotations section. It provided interesting topics that grew in depth. In my own perspective, the site was effective for students such as myself, to research math historians. The visuals provided many features which motivated me to look further through the site. Overall, the content seems complete and straightforward.

Technical Remarks:

I think this site contained so much material, that I got lost several times. However, it is great resource to use and for first time users, like myself.

Avatar for Sheila Morgan
12 years ago

Sheila Morgan (Student)

. How you reviewed the materials (Did you spend 5 minutes browsing, 2 hours
trying it, or actually use it in teaching-learning activities?).

I spent about 25 minutes review material in this section.

2. The quality of content (Does the materials accurately present concepts and
models that are educationally significant?)

The content was informative and it has excellent hisotrical background
information on mathematics.

3. The potential effectiveness for enhancing teaching and learning (If used
appropriately, will students' learning and faculty's teaching be enhanced?)
This is an excellent to use if you are doing historical research of Mathematics.
It allows both teacher/student the ability to enhance knowlege, understanding
and learning potential.

4. The ease of using the materials (Will first time users find it easy to use
the software?)
Yes this site was quite easy to use and I will possibly use it to write my final
paper in Math G.
Used in course

Avatar for concepcion guitron
12 years ago

concepcion guitron (Student)

I spent 1 hour viewing Mac Tutor History of Mathematics. I really enjoyed reading the information on this resource it was very interesting and educating. This resource is very helpful, it provides lots of information about the history of math. After veiwing this resource, I want to learn more about the history of math and explore other similar sites. This is a great resource to use for a paper and for first time users.
Used in course

Avatar for Sally Benyola
12 years ago

Sally Benyola (Student)

I spent approximately 15 minutes browsing, at which time I focused on the
history of Greek math. My interest in Ancient Greek architect led me to
discover that mathematics and architecture were, in many ways, considered one
and the same. I spent a total of 45 min. reviewing the wealth of information
provided regarding Ancient Greek mathematics. There is such a broad range of
topics, ranging from biographies to teaching methods, to principals, that I
could easily spend much more time reviewing this material. I found each area to
be well written, interesting, and informative. I may have discovered the next
topic for my final mathematics paper. Thanks!!

Technical Remarks:

This site was relatively easy to navigate through. I was surprised at the speed
in which I not only received my password, but also in how clear the directions
were for getting to each link.
Used in course

Avatar for David Martinez
13 years ago

David Martinez (Student)

I really enjoyed this sight. There were various attachments that included
exclusive information. I liked how it had information on many mathematicians
dating from 500 b.c. It also had mathematics from different cultures which was
very interesting
Used in course

Avatar for   Lazares
13 years ago

Lazares (Student)

The MacTutor History of Math site which is from Scottland has the largest amount
of general math concepts on any site I have ever seen. It's basically the
mathematical equivlent of Google. After viewing certain topics such as the
Fibonachi Sequence and Statistics I wouldnt go anywhere else for math related

Avatar for Kathy Phelan
13 years ago

Kathy Phelan (Student)

I'm very impressed with this site. I entered the site not really knowing what
to expect and stayed for awhile. I'm in the process of writing a paper on
Albert Einstein and was amused to find a page of quotations from him. My
favorite (and I'm using it in my paper) is:
"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you that mine are
greater." I will absolutely visit this site again to capture more information
regarding my current site as well as look up information regarding other
mathematicians I have written about in the past. The maps are thorough beyond
belief and very interesting to see. The more you explore this site the more you
uncover. There seems to be a gem at each turn.

Technical Remarks:

Very simple. My biggest problem was wanting to go everywhere and getting lost
in my own thoughts. A few times, I completely lost my focus because something
more interesting caught my eye.

Avatar for Ross MacDonald
13 years ago

Ross MacDonald (Student)

It seems to me that this is a very well organized site. The format is simple,
straight forward, with no flashing logos, or any of the other things that annoy
me so. The information is honest, even mentioning that the biographies may have
had some dramatic liberties taken with them. Simple, informative, very easy to
navigate, so you dont have to mess around.
Used in course

Avatar for Allen Nash
13 years ago

Allen Nash (Student)

I felt that the History of Mathematics Archive would be a valuable asset to any
person who wishes to find a wide range of information available at a single
site. This archive has almost everything ranging from bibliographies and
timelines to maps of birthplaces and famous quotes. This site would be a great
teacher's resource for any teacher who wishes to lecture on a particular
mathematician. The brief definitions in the glossory index is also very
convenient for finding a short and to the point definition of any mathematical
Used in course

Avatar for Xylene Dagun
14 years ago

Xylene Dagun (Student)

I've actually been to this website before, but didn't explore it as much as i
did just now. I find MacTutor History well contained of informations. Just by
browsing and reading some of the articles made me understood a lot of things. I
didn't even know how they based when giving an award such as Nobel Price until I
went to this website. There's so much other things that is helpful especially
for students that are going to be writing a paper about Mathematicians, their
achievements and basically everything about them. Having topics like Mathematics
and Astronomy combined together is also a very excellent feature. This website
is great itself for all the topic it offers and how it's a very good attraction
to those who want to learn about Mathematicians.
Used in course

Avatar for M.C. Gordon
14 years ago

M.C. Gordon (Student)

This site offers information, on top of information, on top of information.
Excellent source of learning for any level of curiousity. If you want to know
more just click on a link inbedded in article your reading continues. I stayed
on this site for more than an hour. I started out in the History of Mayan
Mathematics and ended up in Christianity and Mathematics.

Technical Remarks:

This site offers an extensive source of information. I found it easy to access
-the only draw back with a site like this is trying to make a decision on a
singular topic. Excellent resource for any topic in math.
Used in course

Avatar for Patricia Berry
14 years ago

Patricia Berry (Student)

I found that the Mac Tutor full of goodies. Something for everyone. The Biographis Indexs was easy to use and well writen. I pulled up two and read them. I then played in the famous curves Index. and completed my tour with History topics Indext: Egyptian Mathematics and the History of the Zero
Used in course

Avatar for Julie Martin
14 years ago

Julie Martin (Student)

1)I spent about 15 min exploring this site. There is so much to explore on this
2)The quality content on this site is very good. There is alot of resources.
This site is very knowledgeable. It may seem overwhelming at first because there
is so much.
3)This site should definetely enhance the effectiveness for students and
teachers in the classroom. The reason being is because the site has a wide range
of information on the history of math, mathemeticians, and I feel it woold be
an excellent source for a student to get topics for research papers.
4)I feel that first time users browsing this site may feel overwhelmed at first.
But it can be very useful if patient.
Used in course

Avatar for Anthony Olmos
14 years ago

Anthony Olmos (Student)

This tutoring site was a very detailed and informative to both a student and a
teacher. I browsed for about fifteen minutes and found some intersting things I
can use for future refrences. I recomended this site for students looking for
interesting topics to explore.

Technical Remarks:

I was really taken back by the math Astonomy and how everything in the universe
ties into math it was kind of crazy,but in a good way.

Avatar for Kathleen Dietrich
14 years ago

Kathleen Dietrich (Student)

I enjoyed finding out about the history of mathamatics more then I
knew before I came to this site on math history. I did find it annoying getting
sent to five other sites before I could find some history. I believe this is
one of the most frustrating things. I also found the Time Line Graph a bite hard
to read but this could be me . On the positive side I did like the Time Line
bullet info and will share this with my son. I spent about 10 min. checking it
out and really enjoyed the history. I really do want to come back to this site
when I have more time. Thanks for the history of math!

Avatar for xye dagun
15 years ago

xye dagun (Student)

This is a great site to find information on mathematicians. I must have spent
over an hour just navigating through this site. A person could easily spend much
more time than that just going through everything. It proved to be full of
historical in depth information about many mathematicians. The set up was simple
and easy to follow. This site is wonderful when a little history is needed
behind the actual math work. The content seemed to be accurate and useful. There
is no doubt that will make a great starting point when working on an

Avatar for   garcia
15 years ago

garcia (Student)

This tutoring guide was to say the least in depth. It seemed to contain
information about evrything. Everything about this guide was easy, from the way
it was setup to understanding the readings. I very quickly browsed through the
sight and I didn't use any of the learning activities. It seemed that
everything was accuratly covered. I can see that this would be an effective
learning tool for learning but it seems more of a resource then a teaching tool.
This one sight I picked was easy but the Merlot sight gave me a lot of trouble
when I tried logging in. I ended up having to come back to this sight on a
different computer so I could log in.

Avatar for christine dominguez
15 years ago

christine dominguez (Student)


Avatar for Wendi Clouse
15 years ago

Wendi Clouse (Student)

This is a great site! I spent 3+ hours following different historical
biographies for a class assignment. The content seems complete and
straightforward. This site provided the right type of information that enabled
me to pursue my topic of interest in greater depth. I have book- marked this
site for future use for different assignments and different classes because the
information presented has many applications.
I also found that this site was easy to navigate; however it provided so many
links that it was easy to become side tracked.

Technical Remarks:

Access was not available during the weekend. This was a big inconvenience due
to the fact that I was using information for a project with a deadline.

Avatar for Jacqueline Tacorda
15 years ago

Jacqueline Tacorda (Student)

I spent about 30 minutes browsing through this site, and one hour reading
through the topics that interested me. I was mostly fascinated with the history
of Egyptian Mathematics, and the Mathematical Astronomy.

The organization of this site made it easier for a first time viewer like me to
locate significant information I can use for my math class. In my opinion, I
think this site is a good place to begin searching when looking for a math topic
to present in class. First time users will find it easy to access and it
contains pertinent information.

15 years ago


I'm attending "Liberal Arts" math class
at Mission Community College in SiliconValley
for the last year. I found out that this site
has a very informative towards the subjects they have to offer.
I spend most of my 1 hr time reading on Egyptian mathematics, I found out
things that it never had cross my mind.

Avatar for Ian Walton
15 years ago

Ian Walton (Faculty)

I have taught a "Liberal Arts" math class at Mission Community College in
Silicon Valley for the last 25 years. My students do research projects for
classroom presentations. This site is probably the single most quoted source
over the years. Students find it presents a wealth of easily accessible and
interesting information.