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85 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Emmy Noether comes first to mind, as one of the most influential mathematicians in abstract algebra, specifically in the development of Noetherian rings (along with many properties of ideals). One ...
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61 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Julia Robinson! I recommend her for a high school audience for a few reasons: Mathematical reasons: She is best known for her work towards the solution of Hilbert's 10th Problem, regarding an ...
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50 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Perhaps not strictly a mathematician in the traditional sense, but I think Ada Lovelace might be a great woman to start with in today's digital world. She even has an important programming language ...
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  • 601
42 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Sophie Germain and her work on Fermat's Last Theorem.
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37 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Any Living One who is friendly enough to come talk with them. Seriously, learning about "people in books" can sometimes be inspiring. But actual live role models are best. Write a local college, ...
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37 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Maryam Mirzakhani, who just won the Fields Medal, and also was the first Iranian student to win a gold medal in the IMO in 1995 with a perfect score. My colleague Mohammad Javaheri was on Iran's IMO ...
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  • 5,887
29 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Vi Hart, the self-termed Mathemusician. I especially enjoy her Doodling in Math Class YouTube series.
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  • 407
28 votes
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What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

In the first place, the impetus to "reform" math education was motivated by politics, not by any serious observed deficit. By coincidence, there was a "new" style in higher mathematics, reflecting the ...
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  • 13.4k
28 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Sonya Kovalevsky, correspondent of Weierstrass, for example.
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  • 13.4k
27 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Edit (Jan 2018) I recommend checking Annie Perkins' page: The Mathematicians Project: Mathematicians Are Not Just White Dudes If you scroll down, then you will find a section entitled Women (...
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26 votes
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Historical tidbits to liven up calculus classes

What are some examples of math history that can be mentioned in calculus classes, either to liven things up or to provide additional perspective / insight on the material being learned? You mention ...
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24 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

If your main interest is to provide a role model that students can identify with, you might want to look at Danica McKellar. According to her Wikipedia entry: McKellar studied mathematics at UCLA, ...
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24 votes
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Why are $m$ and $b$ used in the slope-intercept equation of a line?

This is also borderline not-an-answer, but it might be a nice broadening of your students' worldview to know that the "$m$" and the "$b$" are not universally accepted. Showing them this map (even ...
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  • 19.1k
22 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Classically speaking, Maria Agnesi is the best classical mathematician to study. She published calculus texts that expanded and reflected upon the works of Leonhard Euler.
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  • 382
22 votes
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When did US mathematics programs start failing to prepare incoming students for books like "Baby" Rudin?

Opinion. There never was a generation of high school students in the US who could jump right into Rudin. There would be (and still is) a small portion of the top high school graduates who could. ...
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  • 6,171
19 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Adm. Grace Hopper earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at Yale (1934), helped program the Mark I (1944), developed the first compiler (1952) and some early computer languages, and worked on the development ...
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  • 4,569
16 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Maria Gramegna, the brilliant student of Giuseppe Peano. When you use matrices to solve systems of differential equations, you rely in many ways to her ideas. She defined the exponential function of ...
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16 votes

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

You might want to read Kline (1973). I haven't read the book, but according to Wikipedia, In 1973, Morris Kline published his critical book Why Johnny Can't Add: the Failure of the New Math. It ...
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16 votes

Would taking 5 minutes to explain the history behind a mathematical idea help stimulate learning the idea?

In Germany, there recently was a Project at two universities which tried to strengthen historical connections in analysis courses, especially for teacher education. For them, history can be an ...
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  • 4,733
15 votes
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Teaching the History of Mathematics in High School

I disagree wholeheartedly with Nicola. I can only speak to the US' and Canada's mathematics systems so it may not be broadly true. Mathematics is largely taught in a vacuum. In every other field of ...
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14 votes

Would taking 5 minutes to explain the history behind a mathematical idea help stimulate learning the idea?

My experience with giving history and chronology and people-involved has mostly (but not entirely) been disheartening: many students, from calculus to grad students, don't count that material (and the ...
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  • 13.4k
14 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Alicia Boole Stott, the daughter of George Boole (Boolean Algebra), had a deep understanding of 4D geometry. She got married and lived the life that entailed back then (1890s and on). Coxeter gives ...
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  • 4,569
13 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

I think for young girls Ruth Lawrence is a great role model since she got her phd at age of 17: At the age of 9, Ruth Lawrence gained an O-level in mathematics, setting a new age record. ...
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  • 239
13 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

Grace Chisholm Young seems overlooked so far (13 answer so far) and in my opinion she is worth considering. She worked mostly in real analysis and what is sometimes called classical point set theory (...
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12 votes

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

I think very roughly speaking: "new math" (also known in europe as a fearful period of time, especially for parents) followed a mathematical construction of mathematical knowledge rather than a ...
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  • 4,733
12 votes

Hands on activities for a college history of mathematics course

I had my students in Math for Elementary Teachers doing arithmetic in the Babylonian, Mayan, and Egyptian systems. It's not beyond them at all, and it helps them understand place value more deeply. I ...
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  • 17k
11 votes

What female mathematician can I introduce to my High School students?

More famous for computer science than maths, but a strong mathematician none the less and creator of the Liskov substitution principle (the L in SOLID), Barbara Liskov.
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  • 211
11 votes
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The origins of $\operatorname{cis}(\theta)$

The notation exists since a long time. It was used already by Irving Stringham in 'Uniplanar Algebra (1893).' This is claimed to be the earliest use on http://jeff560.tripod.com/trigonometry.html ...
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  • 7,572
11 votes
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What on earth was Old Math?

New math was introduced in the US in the 1960s. Before it was introduced, math was taught very algorithmically with little emphasis on understanding. Student were taught a method to do an arithmetic ...
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