Math 128: History of Mathematics in the Islamic World, Fall 2014

Instructor: Noah Aydin
Office/Phone: RBH 319 / 5674
Office Hours: MW 11:10-12; T 1:10-3; F 9:10-10 and by appointment
Textbooks: 1.Episodes in Mathematics of Medieval Islam, by J. L. Berggren
                  2. Islamic Science and Making of the European Renaissance, by G. Saliba
                  3. Ibn al-Haytham: First scientist, by B. Steffens
Room & Time: PRCL 09 , MWF 10:10-11

Tutoring help available from MSSC

Course Description:
This course examines an important and interesting part of the history of mathematics, and more generally, the intellectual history of human kind: history of mathematics in the Islamic world. Some of the most fundamental notions in modern mathematics have their roots in this part of the history such as the modern number system, the fields of algebra and trigonometry, and the concept of algorithm among others. In addition to studying specific contributions of medieval Muslim mathematicians in the areas of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry in some details, we will also examine the context in which Islamic science and mathematics flourished, and the role of religion in this development. The rise of Islamic science and its interactions with other cultures (e.g. Greek, Indian and Renaissance Europe) tells us much about the larger issues of humanities. Thus, this course has both a substantial mathematical component (~60-65 %) and a significant history and social science component (~35-40%), bringing together three disciplines: Mathematics, History and Religion. It is part of the Islamic Civilization and Cultures program, and fulfills the QR requirement. No prerequisite is needed beyond high school algebra and geometry, but a solid knowledge in algebra and geometry is needed.

Some Useful Online Resources
  The MacTutor of History of Mathematics Archive:
  The MacTutor  Islamic Mathematics:              
  Muslim Heritage Web Site:                            

Some Useful Documentaries (available on youtube):
  Empire of Faith: A PBS documentary Science in Islam Part 1, Science in Islam Part 2, orFull documentary
  Science and Islam a 3-part BBC documentary Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, or Full.
When Moors Ruled Europe by historian Bettany Hughes

General Course Information and Syllabus

Course Calendar, Hmw and Reading Assignments

Information About Final Project