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Archimedes of Syracuse


Archimedes of Syracuse

Logo for Archimedes of Syracuse
Information on the life and accomplishments of Archimedes.
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Material Type: Reference Material
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: May 06, 2001
Date Modified in MERLOT: September 19, 2010
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Submitter: Kurt Cogswell
Keywords: Math history, biography


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


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Discussion for Archimedes of Syracuse

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Avatar for Farah Taslim
8 years ago

Farah Taslim (Student)

I have a great interest in learning and knowing great people's personal life. I try to avoid biography of great scientists and inventors because most of the articles focus more on the invention or achievement more than the person's personal life. This article is not any exception to that. It's definately educational, but my concern is it would keep a readers attention too much. I also think the the article have too many quotes from other resources and have very little about his personal. If it was not for a class assignment, I would skip after few minutes. Since I did finish through the doc, I now know more about his invention and theorems. I found that none really had much in-depth analysis and some stuffs are repeated like the given values of pi. A bit more analysis of topic and little reduction of quotes would make it more readable. Of course, a bit touch of personal life would make it more interesting reading.

Technical Remarks:

Software is easy to use. If pages are broken down to smaller pages and have next/previous button, it would have been easier to read.

Avatar for Kimberly Nguyen
12 years ago

Kimberly Nguyen (Student)

This site was very well put together in terms of who Archimedes was, his life
and his passions. I found this site very useful and very easy to understand,
much easier to understand and read then the page on Galileo. Archimedes's
website, was very clear and precise, and was divided out into different
categories such as his fascination with the subject of Geometry, and then his
most significant contributions and accomplishments where mentioned. Having the
page divided out like that gives students a better understanding and a broader
picture on who Archimedes was and what he has done that has made him so famous.
This can be used in any classroom Science or Math and I think students with math
problems and students who have trouble understanding and learning such rough
subjects like math and sciences would gain a better understanding in terms of
people who made a name in math history.
Used in course

Avatar for Matt Imwalle
12 years ago

Matt Imwalle (Student)

After reading this article I think I now know what I am going to do my final on.
This article on Archimedes was incredible. It gave so much information on the
man its unbelievable. Anybody who is interested with the history of math would
love this article, I never knew that so much happened with math back in his
period of time, B.C.In this article I read that he is considered one of the
greatest mathematicians of all times. I have heard of the name Archimedes before
but I thought he was only a mathematician but acording to the article he
achieved fame by his mechanical inventions. Archimedes was killed in 212 BC
during the capture of Syracuse by the Romans in the Second Punic War after all
his efforts to keep the Romans at bay with his machines of war had failed. After
reading this whole article I have gained a great deal of knowledge on
Archimedes, I never knew any background or information on the man before. He
accomplished many things in his life which also included the publication of many
books he wrote and from what I read died in a very bad way. If I do decide to
write my final on him then this article will be at the top of my works cited
Used in course

Avatar for   Wahl
12 years ago

Wahl (Student)

I read this site and some of it's links. I think that it is important to
incorporate the history of math into the lesson plan. I feel less resentful of
math, for some reason, when I know of its history and where it came from as well
as the great efforts the mathematicians made to bring us this knowledge.

Technical Remarks:

I found this site to be very informative; I know more about Archimedes now than
I ever did before. This site showed me how and why certain concepts are so
useful and important. The site presents its material in as accurate a way as
historical documents will let them. I think that the information on this site
is educationally significant because history is a big part of learning. I think
that students should know where their lessons are coming from and how it
applies to everyday life and this is something that should be taught at a young
age. I think that informing the students of the history and mathematicians
behind math concepts would help most of them to better appreciate what they are
learning and this will enhance they're growth academically. This site was very
user friendly. I appreciate the author's awareness that we're not all math and
history savvy, so they highlighted the more difficult vocabulary and in it's own
seperate little link provided you with the definitions. This was very helpful.
At the very end they also provided you with a number of related links so you
can follow up and learn even more material related to the subject.
Used in course

Avatar for June Mertens-Barber
12 years ago

June Mertens-Barber (Student)

I first accessed this article on April 6th when I signed up for MERLOT. I was
browsing around the program to see what it was all about, was reading this
material & decided to print it out as it is easier for me to read, but to no
avail as I could not get the program to go to the beginning of the article so I
decided to try again later. Yesterday, I printed it out & read it. That took me
about 25 minutes. I enjoyed reading about Archimedes life and accomplishments
very much. It was well written and I understood most of it. People interested in
history and math will certainly be inspired to learn of Archimedes' numerous
accomplishments, especially since he lived & died in the BC era! The potential
effectiveness for enhancing teaching & learning is great throughout the article
mainly because the links are so good. I did not take alot of time to explore all
of them because of my own time restraints. But, if I were doing a write up of
Archimedes I would definately use the links to refine my research & help with
the writing of it. Some of the terminology is hard to follow as I do not know
many math terms. Having a dictionary handy is helpful. I learned a lot about
Archimedes & enjoyed the insight of what it was like in those days.
Used in course

Avatar for David Martinez
13 years ago

David Martinez (Student)

This web site is all about Archimedes of Syracuse and I got that. But what i
really didnt like was there organization of the web site. I thought it should
have broken up the site in titles, columns, and what not. Overall I was fairly
distracted by the lack of organization
Used in course

Avatar for orlando lacro
13 years ago

orlando lacro (Student)

I spent about one hour reading the essay and browsing through the myriad of
interesting links offered within this interesting site. Since this site is
located in the "general and liberal arts math" section of the Merlot Resource, I
was not expecting anything too focused and specific in terms of mathematical
concepts, theories and dialogue. What I found was exctly what I expected. A very
easy to read, interesting, general overview of the life and accomplishments of
Archimedes. I was so fascinated by the content and how it was represented, that
I did not find myself getting distracted or losing interest, even while I took
the time to investigate the other highlighting many other well known and
interesting figures within the world of mathematics. The quality of the content
is exceptional for the level in which it should be analyzed and for the level
in which it should be shared as a learning tool for other students. It is
obvious that there has been a lot of time and effort spent in the compiling and
laying out of this particular project. I feel, with the variety of data, and the
amount of relative links shared throughout the site, that this would definately
provide a great first exposure to students who are not normally interested in
this type of subject. And this would definately provide a fantastic springboard
to gather ideas for students who are preparing to embark in a major study
concerning Archimedes and his accomplishments. This is obviously not going to be
the stand-alone, nest of knowledge concerning the topic of Archimedes. And it
wasn't meant to be, this topic is too vast to exemplify completely in one shot.
I'm sure we will see more detailed examinations of Archimedes studies located in
the more specific forums located in the Merlot site. But what this site does
do, is offer a great general analysis of Archimedes for all students to share,
regardless of interest, or level in math. I think this would make a great
introductory tool for any classroom, or student seeking to get their feet wet,
as far as the subject of Archimedes is cconcerned.

Technical Remarks:

I felt it was fairly easy to navigate. As always, it is always nice to add
interactive depth for those who have stronger auditory, visual, kinesthetic and
spatial learning strengths.
Used in course

Avatar for Heather Hatlo
13 years ago

Heather Hatlo (Student)

I am currently writing a paper on Archimedes so I found this site extremely
useful. I spent about 20 minutes reading the information written on this
website, but I have spent much more time accessing the various links for
additional information on Archimedes. I think the links at the bottom of the
page are probably the most useful. I will continue to utilize this site as a
home-page of sorts, in my research. The information listed overall was useful
and easy to read and it gave a good biographical view of Archimedes. It just
wasn?t as detailed as I had hoped in detailing all of his mathematical
accomplishments. It is great for those looking for a very high-level overview
but, if you need to dig deeper, I highly recommend accessing the links at the
bottom of the page. Particularly the list of references that were used in
creating this page, those books will come in very useful if you need to do some
significant research. Overall the quality of the content is good, and if you
need more info on Archimedes there is an abundance of information to be found
using the links this site suggests.
Used in course

Avatar for Ross MacDonald
13 years ago

Ross MacDonald (Student)

This site is not very well put together . THe writing is poor, but it has alot
of information about Archimedes. Over all, an ok site, that could use a bit oif
Used in course

Avatar for Noel Dietz
14 years ago

Noel Dietz (Student)

This project turned out to be a labor of love and I cannot tell you how
much I enjoyed perusing these web sites. As a History Major, I focused on the
math history sub-categories and was pleased to find a great biography on
Archimedes of Syracuse. I spent several hours on this one and I think this
personal account of Arhcimedes was very well written and extremely informative.
We studied this most famous of scientists of the Hellenistic period in my
Western Civilization class last year and Dr. O'Connor did a great job in
bringing him back to life. Archimedes was especially important for his work on
the geometry of spheres and cylinders, for establishing the value of the
mathematical constant pi, and for creating the science of hydrostatics. His
accomplishments are indeed inspirational. He is credited with the discovery of
specific gravity simply by observing the water he displaced in his bath. He may
have even devised the so-called Archimedean Screw used to pump water out of
mines. He also developed a pulley for transporting heavy weights.

Dr. O'Connor was extremely accurate in his treatment of the facts
surrounding Archimedes during the period of 287-212 B.C. His work closely
parallels the events as chronicled in other historical texts and he offers them
in a clear and concise manner. The major significance of Dr. O'Connors work, as
it related to our present day math class, may be more philosophical than
practical as he states "although Archimedes achieved fame for his mechanical
inventions, he believed that pure mathematics was the only worthy pursuit."

Technical Remarks:

Easy access on this History of Mathematics sub-category and it also
provides many additional hours of great reading through a long list of related
web sites. Math historians will love it.
Used in course

Avatar for Rodney Peterson
14 years ago

Rodney Peterson (Student)

The method this student employed for the Merlot webpage was trial and error,
which lasted approximately half-an-hour. After navigating through several points
on this webpage I came upon an article entitled ?Archimedes of Syracuse?, by J.
O?Conner & Prof. E. Robertson. The procedure I followed was to read the article
several times, and that took a couple of hours. What I enjoyed about the manner
in which this article was assembled, were the embedded links for Kepler,
Cavalieri, Fermat, and Newton, all of whom Archimedes influenced. Although it
required another couple of hours to read about Kepler, Cavalieri, Fermat and,
Newton, it was well worth the time spent to learn of their works, their
mathematical contributions, and how they were influenced by Archimedes. The
Archimedes embedded math terms, tangents, infinitesimals, and ellipse, were also
quite helpful. How I used this information would be best described as self-help
instructional. Personally, I found the segment on ?Archimedes' principle
[which] states that any body completely or partially submerged in a fluid is
acted upon by an upward force which is equal to the weight of the fluid
displaced by the body,? quite interesting because I?ve often heard of a
particular battleship or submarine weighing so many gross tons followed by the
volume of Water displacement. Now I understand not only where this math
principle originated from but the originator, Archimedes. As just stated the
content was instructional by deftly covering Archimedes mathematical concepts
and contributions without overwhelming the student with plethora of factoids
and/or minutia. In my opinion, this article will be well utilized by either a
student and/or instructor in the course of considering the history of math as it
pertains to how math is utilized in our modern world; after all, it is always
good to understand where things come from and how they are built upon by
succession of individuals and societies. How this and subsequent linked articles
were written the methodology was user friendly, while making navigation from
one link to another and back again uncomplicated.
Used in course