Do your children know about the famous mathematicians that labored to define the mathematical concepts taught in schools today? If your student is a math buff, he will appreciate hearing about the lives of the brilliant mathematicians who paved the way for scientific discovery. Who knows? Perhaps your child's biography will be listed online someday as a mathematician!
Pythagoras was a famous Greek mathematician who lived and taught in 500 BC. He was so famous that he even had a group of disciples, or followers, who absorbed his teachings and passed them on to others.
Pythagoras invested his time exploring philosophy in the form of music and mathematics as a way to make sense of chaos. He proved a theory, once ascribed to the Sumerians, to be absolutely true and infallible. This is now referred to as the Pythagorean Theorem, which has to do with the angles of a right triangle.
Pythagoras' life teachings went beyond mathematical concepts; he and his disciples also focused on what they considered pure living habits, such as not cutting their hair, eating specific foods, wearing simple clothing and refusing to wear shoes.
Albert Einstein lived from 1879 to 1955. He was both a physician and a mathematician, and is credited with discoveries involving electromagnetic energy, relativity and electrodynamics.
Einstein was interested in how physics and mathematics worked together. He is most famous for what is referred to as the Einstein Formula for the General Theory of Relativity, E=mc2. This formula relies on the assumption that matter can be transformed into energy and vice versa. As a result of Einstein's discovery, the first atom bomb was developed.
Is your child fascinated by computers? Does she ask how computers work? Charles Babbage created the design behind the first modern computer, based on his mathematical research into mechanical calculations back in the 1800s, long before the first working computer was ever built.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
If your child loves algebra, he might be interested in reading up on the life of Carl Friedrich Gauss, a German mathematician who laid the foundation for modern day algebra. Gauss was recognized as a mathematical genius even as a child, so he was granted special educational opportunities by the Duke of Brunswick. Gauss is credited with several mathematic formulas and principles, including the least-squares method, the distribution of primes, the theorum of quadratic residues and Gauss' theory of numbers.
Are your children asking: Why is math important? Instead of explaining the history of mathematics to your child, try making math concepts such as economics and engineering computations practical to them.
Looking for math project ideas? Fun math lessons and projects can spur a love for problem solving if the projects are set up right. Try these math projects to help your child see the value of good math skills.