Mac an Bhaird, Ciaran
(2009)
Introducing the history of mathematics to third level students with
weak mathematical backgrounds: a case study.
In:
CETLMSOR Conference 2008.
The Maths, Stats & OR Network, pp. 6368.
ISBN 9780955591457
Abstract
Many students who traditionally struggle with basic aspects of Mathematics have little or no concept of
Mathematics as a living and growing subject area. They appear not to appreciate the background of the dayto
day Mathematics that they study, and which some of them may one day teach. These students generally
have no exposure to this material and are unlikely to investigate the History of Mathematics independently.
In this paper we will discuss the incidents that lead us to consider how to introduce students with weak
mathematical backgrounds to the History of Mathematics. We will briefly mention the reasons why there are
such significant numbers of students with these issues. We will also provide some detail on the first steps
taken by the Mathematics Support Centre in the National University of Ireland Maynooth to try to introduce
the background and context of Mathematics to these students. Based on the feedback we have received to
date, we will discuss if these initiatives have had a positive impact in terms of students’ attitudes and results.
Item Type: 
Book Section

Additional Information: 
Proceedings of the CETLMSOR Conference 2008, Lancaster University, 8th – 9th September. Edited by David Green 
Keywords: 
history of mathematics; third level; students; Mathematics Support Centre; 
Academic Unit: 
Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics 
Item ID: 
5453 
Depositing User: 
Ciaran Mac an Bhaird

Date Deposited: 
07 Oct 2014 14:10 
Publisher: 
The Maths, Stats & OR Network 
Refereed: 
Yes 
URI: 

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