cod. 06916

Academic year 2011/12
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Matematiche complementari (MAT/04)
Formazione teorica
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
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Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the student has an overview of mathematical thought with a particular reference to the theory of algebraic equations and to the development of symbolism. Furthermore the course allows students to think over learning difficulties of mathematical concepts and to interpret the “obstacles” epistemological while providing, at the same time, historical tools which can be used as teaching material.


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Course unit content

Ancient civilizations: the Egyptian and Mesopotamian numbering systems and the origins of algebra. Greek mathematics: the numbering system, Euclid and the structure of the Elements (definitions, axioms and common notions), geometricalgebra, Diophantus. The Chinese numbering system and algebra in China and India. Algebra in mathematics Arabic. Methods of false position and abacus treatise. Italian algebraists during the Renaissance (Cardano, Tartaglia, Bombelli, Ferrari), Vietè, Descartes. Tschirhaus and Lagrange’s transforms. From equations algebra to abstract algebra. Gauss, Ruffini, Galois.

Full programme

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Appunti di Storia della Matematica a cura di Daniela Medici
Boyer, C.B., Storia della Matematica, 1980, Mondadori
Kline, M., Storia del pensiero matematico, 1972, Giulio Einaudi Editore
Franci, R., Toti Rigatelli,L, Storia della teoria delle equazioni algebriche, 1979, Mursia

Teaching methods

Lessons in whitch sometimes students are supposed to take part in the discussion.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination

Other information

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