Tracing the Historical Progression of Mathematics and the Changing Roles of Women and Minority Mathematicians with Student Projects

Sarah J. Greenwald,

Students benefit by learning mathematics within the context of its historical progression. The inclusion of women and minority mathematicians during discussions of mathematicians is also beneficial, as students will see mathematics as a discipline for everyone that transcends culture, race and gender. We will discuss the use of student projects and presentations in a variety of levels of courses.

In a liberal arts math class, student groups were each assigned a mathematician and related mathematics chosen in order to expose the class to specific content and research styles ( In a modern algebra class, each student was assigned a mathematician and related mathematics chosen to complement course material and to expose the class to important topics in modern algebra ( Student projects were also used to run a senior level math class on women and minorities (

We will talk about the benefits and difficulties of using these student projects. We also will examine the similarities and differences that occurred in the different levels of mathematics courses and will give suggestions for successful implementation.