Topics in the History of Mathematics
Math 3010, University of Utah, Fall 2018

Anurag K. Singh


Class: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11:50-12:40, LCB 215

Office: LCB 124, (801) 581-8647

E-mail: singh at

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, 10:00-11:00, and by appointment.

Text: Mathematics and its History by John Stillwell, 3rd Edition, ISBN 9781441960528. The book is available for download through the Marriott Library.

Prerequisites: C or better in one of Math 1210, 1250, 1270, 1310, 1311, 1220, 1320, 1321, or 2210, or AP Calculus AB score of at least 4, or AP Calculus BC score of at least 3.

Goals and objectives: This is a brief look at the history of mathematics, focusing on some principal ideas in the development of the subject. Given that the subject has grown over many centuries, and in several civilizations, our treatment will be inevitably selective. The course goals include formulating and presenting mathematical arguments with precision and rigor.

Homework: There will be weekly homework, due in class, counting for 20% of the grade. Students may discuss the problems with others, but it is important to write up one's own solutions. The lowest homework score will be dropped. Assignments, on the date due, should be handed in either before or immediately after class; late homework will typically not be accepted.

Writing assignments: There will be periodic writing assignments; details to follow. These, as well, count for 20% of the grade.

Exams: There will be three in-class exams, each counting for 20% of the grade:

Exam 1:October 3, Wednesday
Exam 2:November 16, Friday
Exam 3:December 5, Wednesday

Other dates: Last day to add, drop (delete), elect CR/NC, or audit classes: Friday, August 31.
Last day to withdraw from classes: Friday, October 19.

ADA: The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided to qualified individuals. To discuss any such accommodations, please contact me as well as the Center for Disability Services, (801) 581-5020, at the beginning of the semester.

Reading/Writing Assignments:

Robson on Plimpton 322, 50-60 word summary due on Wednesday, August 29.

Weil on the History of Mathematics, 50-60 word summary due on Monday, September 24.

Mathematics in China, 200 word summary due on Friday, October 19.

Sylvester, 200 word summary due on Monday, November 12.

Noether, see also NYT on Noether; 200 word summary due on Wednesday, November 28.

Homework Assignments:

HW1: 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.3.1, 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.6.1, 1.6.2. Due in class Friday, August 31.

HW2: 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.3.3, 2.3.4. Due in class Wednesday, September 12.

HW3: pdf Due in class Wednesday, September 26.

HW4: 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.4.3, 6.4.4, 6.4.5, 6.5.3. Due in class Wednesday, October 24.

HW5: pdf Due in class Wednesday, November 7.

Exam 3 information

Miscellaneous links:

Previous exams: Professor Hecht Exam 1, Exam 2, and Professor Treibergs Exam 1, Exam 2.

The biggest prime yet

Euclid's Elements, Clay Mathematics Institute

Euclid's Elements, Marriott Library

We are all scutoids!

Fitchett on Bézout's Theorem

Anurag's Home Page