Skip to main content

MATH 1701 Understanding Mathematics: Its Philosophical Origins, Evolution, and Humanity (Fall: 3 )


Course Description

The dynamic and constantly evolving field of mathematics is central to the advancement of human knowledge. Yet who decides what mathematics is? How has the discipline changed and why? This course follows the development of mathematics from the ancient to the contemporary, tracing the paths of some of its “big ideas” from their “elementary” roots to their modern-day forms. Students will examine the philosophical origins of familiar concepts and experience what it means to invent mathematics through studying the field’s pioneers. By the end of the semester, students will decide for themselves what mathematics is. Non-math majors are encouraged to enroll.


Schedule: Biennially

Instructor(s): Ellen Julia Goldstein

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Core Renewal Course: Enduring Questions


Last Updated: 06-Mar-17