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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MATH3015 History of Mathematics

15 creditsClass Size: 92

Module manager: Dr Pierre-Philippe Dechant; Dr C Tedd; Dr S Barber

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

(MATH1026 or MATH1050) and [(MATH1710 and MATH1712) or MATH2700]. Also experience in proof-reading.
Students must be enrolled on the module by the end of the second teaching week at the latest.

This module is not approved as a discovery module


Understand the content as well as the historical development of specific topics central to mathematics, such as groups, calculus, geometry, number theory, probability. Write prose and technical mathematics in a coherent fashion.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, student should:
- have developed an understanding of mathematics as a product of history and culture;
- be able to analyse and write about historical developments in mathematics;
- be able to research and utilise historical mathematical methods;
- have produced a piece of work collaboratively.


Three topics from a collection of mathematical areas including geometry, set theory, calculus, number theory, algebra, statistics, and probability will be chosen. The historical development of each of these three areas will be presented. Students will also study the relevant mathematics and solve mathematical problems.

For example, in geometry the historical development up to models of non-Euclidean geometry, in analysis up to Cauchy's rigorisation of calculus, and in algebra up to Galois' work will be covered.

Three to four weeks will be devoted to each of the three topics. The module will be team-taught by up to three lecturers.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours132.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Study for, and preparation of, coursework assignments

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Written, assessed work throughout the semester with feedback to students.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayDue at the end of the module40.00
Written WorkHistorical mathematics worksheet20.00
EssayDue in during the module20.00
Group ProjectPoster, presentation or other activity20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

If the module is failed, new versions of the coursework can be submitted, except for the team project for which the mark will be carried forward.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/07/2023


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