Pythagorean Theoram

Pythagorean Theorem
Angie Head

This essay was inspired by a class that I am taking this quarter. The class is the History of Mathematics. In this class, we are learning how to include the history of mathematics in teaching a mathematics. One way to include the history of mathematics in your classroom is to incorporate ancient mathematics problems in your instruction. Another way is to introduce a new topic with some history of the topic. Hopefully, this essay will give you some ideas of how to include the history of the Pythagorean Theorem in the teaching and learning of it.

We have been discussing different topics that were developed in ancient civilizations. The Pythagorean Theorem is one of these topics. This theorem is one of the earliest know theorems to ancient civilizations. It was named after Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician and philosopher. The theorem bears his name although we have evidence that the Babylonians knew this relationship some 1000 years earlier. Plimpton 322, a Babylonian mathematical tablet dated back to 1900 B.C., contains a table of Pythagorean triples. The Chou-pei, an ancient Chinese text, also gives us evidence that the Chinese knew about the Pythagorean theorem many years before Pythagoras or one of his collegues in the Pythagorean society discovered and proved it. This is the reason why the theorem is named after Pythagoras.

Pythagoras lived in the sixth or fifth century B.C. He founded the Pythagorean School in Crotona. This school was an academy for the study of mathematics, philosophy, and natural science. The Pythagorean School was more than a school; it was "a closely knit brotherhood with secret rites and observances" (Eves 75). Because of this, the school was destoryed by democratic forces of Italy. Although the brotherhood was scattered, it continued to exist for two more centuries. Pythagoras and his collegues are credited with many contributions to mathematics.

The following is an investigation of how the...