Why Should Historical Truth Matter to Math Teachers?

Plenary Speaker

Judith Grabiner

Pitzer College

There are a lot of myths out there. For instance, haven't you heard that Newton invented the calculus to do his physics? We recount half a dozen commonly held myths about the development of mathematics. They cover pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, and the relationship between mathematics and society. For each, we provide a more accurate -- and more interesting -- account. For each also we explain what is at stake, for teachers and students of mathematics, in getting the story right.