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01:640:437 - History of Mathematics

NOTE: this course was formerly numbered 01:640:436


Math 251 or Math 291, and Math 250.
This course will present an overview of the development of mathematics from ancient civilizations to the beginning of the 19th century. Selected topics from the history of mathematics including number systems; Euclidean geometry; the development of algebra in India, Arabia, and the West; and calculus. Special emphasis will be placed on some recurrent themes, e.g., calculation of areas, progressive enlargement of number systems, changing concepts of rigorous proof.
Besides lectures, part of the course will be devoted to presentations of selected topics by participants, either in class or in the form of papers.


Textbook:  For current textbook please refer to our Master Textbook List page

Please Note:

This revised course does not satisfy the SAS core curriculum writing requirement

This course is taught during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Schedule of Sections:

(NOTE: this course was formerly numbered 01:640:436)


Previous Semesters


  • Spring 2006: Tunnell
  • Spring 2005: M. Raman
  • Spring 2004: Levitt
  • Spring 2003: Browder
  • Spring 2001, '02: Kosinski
  • Fall '99,'00: Cherlin (as 640:395)

Term Papers

As part of the SAS core curriculum writing requirement, there will be a term paper consisting of at least 4,000 words. (This is about 8 single-spaced pages, or 16 double-spaced pages.) Students are expected to select a branch of mathematics, approved by the professor, and write about how it has evolved over the course of history.

Disclaimer: Posted for informational purposes only

This material is posted by the faculty of the Mathematics Department at Rutgers New Brunswick for informational purposes. While we try to maintain it, information may not be current or may not apply to individual sections. The authority for content, textbook, syllabus, and grading policy lies with the current instructor.

Information posted prior to the beginning of the semester is frequently tentative, or based on previous semesters. Textbooks should not be purchased until confirmed with the instructor. For generally reliable textbook information—with the exception of sections with an alphabetic code like H1 or T1, and topics courses (197,395,495)—see the textbook list.

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Department of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics
Rutgers University
Hill Center - Busch Campus
110 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019, USA

Phone: +1.848.445.2390
Fax: +1.732.445.5530