The History of Mathematics Project, hosted at history-of-mathematics.org, is a virtual gallery highlighting physical artifacts that are important to the history of mathematics. Content is presented in a variety of forms and at a range of levels, making it accessible to children and experts alike. Extensive computational explanations and interactive content make use of the Wolfram Language to explain and demonstrate the mathematics involved. The virtual exhibits and their navigation are entirely built from source notebooks using the Wolfram Language, the Wolfram Knowledgebase and the Wolfram Cloud, allowing the content and website to be easily maintained and extended. The History of Mathematics Project was generously funded by Overdeck Family Foundation for the benefit of the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York City.
With rich interactive exhibits and immersive Learning Journeys, the History of Mathematics Project enhances mathematics education inside and outside the classroom. With a mix of storytelling, historical context and hands-on exploration, the History of Mathematics Project seeks to pique curiosity and expand the appreciation of the rich history of how our current mathematics came to be.
The History of Mathematics Project includes nine virtual exhibits, each corresponding to a general topic area of mathematics. Each virtual exhibit gives a brief textual description of the mathematical area and its historical context, together with navigation to other exhibits, clickable thumbnails for individual artifacts within the exhibit and a clickable timeline.
The History of Mathematics Project contains around 75 artifacts. Each artifact page contains navigation to other exhibits, date, summary tagline, short description, a main ("hero") image, detailed description, additional image thumbnails (browsable as an image carousel), detailed clickable metadata (dimensions, location, catalog number, …), a clickable timeline, other interactive web resources, additional reading (bibliography) and additional links. Interactive content gives hands-on exploration of artifact content including some basic background and information, while computational explanations give details of the mathematical content of the artifact that make extensive use of the Wolfram Language.
History of Mathematics Project Learning Journeys are a series of graphical and interactive historical essays that connect and explore mathematical ideas across cultures and time. They provide an engaging and fun journey through mathematical artifacts for students and other virtual museum visitors who are interested in the mathematical story behind the artifacts. They include interactive content and are primarily visual and descriptive with minimal advanced mathematics, making them ideal for classroom exploration or as a teaching tool. At the same time, they contain images and links to more detailed and mathematical artifact write-ups.
Virtual Exhibit Screenshots:
Learning Journeys Screenshots:
Select Artifact Page Screenshots:
The Project and Sponsors:
- "History of Mathematics Project Overview with Wolfram CEO Stephen Wolfram," October 27, 2021
- "Insider's Tour of the History of Mathematics Exhibition with Bernat Espigulé–Pons," November 22, 2021, 6:30 pm ET