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Do you know the history of Mathematics? Want to learn about a Mathematican? Need ideas for teaching or learning Math? These resources will give you the information you need.
Last Updated: May 8, 2014 URL: Print Hot Topic RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Mathematics Print Page

Math - Student Resources in Context



Mathematics (often abbreviated Math), in the very broadest sense, is the systematic study of relationships in the physical world and relationships between symbols that need not pertain to the real world. In relation to the world, mathematics is the language of science. It operates within the laws and constraints of science as it examines physical phenomena. Mathematicians, those who delve into and study mathematics, formulate new conjectures from the deduction of existing axioms and definitions. Unlike science, however, mathematics has no constraints. So, in relation to symbols, mathematics can be considered a pure mental activity that is capable of generating...View More

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Biography in Context


Mathematics Links

  • Making Math Cool for Girls
    Lesson on how to make Math cool for girls.
  • Mathematics
    Mathematics is the field of study that deals with the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities, as expressed in either numbers or symbols. For example, a farmer might decide to fence in a field and plant oats there. He would have to use mathematics to measure the size of the field, to calculate the amount of fencing needed for the field, to determine how much seed he would have to buy, and to compute the cost of that seed. Mathematics is an essential part of every aspect of life--from determining the correct tip to leave for a waiter to calculating...View More..
  • Mathematics Topics
    Topics found in Science Online database. Includes history of mathematics, biographies, activities, videos, diagrams and images and more.
  • Timeline for Mathematics
    From 30,000 BCE to the current day.

Heroes and Heroines Who Live for Math

Cover Art
Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra #1 - Wendy Lichtman
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2009-02-24
Tess loves math because it's the one subject she can trust — there's always just one right answer, and it never changes. But then she starts algebra and is introduced to those pesky and mysterious variables, which seem to be everywhere in eighth grade. When even your friends and parents can be variables, how in the world do you find out the right answers to the really important questions, like what to do about a boy you like or whom to tell when someone's done something really bad?

Will Tess's life ever stop changing long enough for her to figure it all out?

Cover Art
Do the Math: The Writing on the Wall #2 - Wendy Lichtman
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2009-03-31
Eighth grade, like algebra, has become pretty complicated for Tess. For one thing, there are the patterns she's noticing everywhere — like how charming-on-the-outside Richard keeps playing scary pranks on her, and how annoying copycat Lynn always has to follow what everyone else is doing. Then there's the pattern of graffiti that keeps appearing on the wall by her school — could those numbers be a code meant for Tess? Is it up to her to find out what they mean? And most importantly, if Damien keeps up with his pattern of waiting for her after school, does it mean he likes her? Or is that just a coincidental system?

Tess looks for formulas to help her figure it all out, but she's afraid there may be none. Sometimes you have to make up your own solutions.

Sometimes, you just have to risk it.

Cover Art
Hannah, Divided - Adele Griffin
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2013-02-12
Uncommonly smart, uncommonly strange, Hannah is determined to become a successIn the one-room schoolhouse at Chadds Ford, Hannah Bennett is a sensation. She is a whiz at math—so adept that she teaches the other students—but in reading, she is a flop. Give her a piece of poetry and she can tell you how many As, how many Es, how many Rs there are in it—but she cannot read a word. Her talent is amazing, but in this small town during the Great Depression, people think that girls will only use math for household budgeting. All at once, everything changes for Hannah when she is invited to study math in the big city of Philadelphia. This illiterate farm girl will undertake the adventure of a lifetime, in hopes of winning a university scholarship. As long as she stays true to herself, there is nothing—not reading, writing, or the city of Philadelphia—that is beyond Hannah's reach.

Cover Art
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster; Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 1961-01-01
This ingenious fantasy centeres around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom...

Cover Art
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture - Doxiadis; Apostolos Doxiadis
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2010-12-01
n this critically acclaimed international bestseller, Petros Papachristos, a mathematical prodigy, has devoted much of his life trying to prove one of the greatest mathematical challenges of all time: Goldbach's Conjecture, the deceptively simple claim that every even number greater than two is the sum of two primes. His feverish and singular pursuit of this goal has come to define his life. Now an old man, he is looked on with suspicion and shame by his family-until his ambitious young nephew intervenes. Seeking to understand his uncle's mysterious mind, the narrator of this novel unravels his story, a dramatic tale set against a tableau of brilliant historical figures-among them G. H. Hardy, the self-taught Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, and a young Kurt Gödel. Meanwhile, as Petros recounts his own life's work, a bond is formed between uncle and nephew, pulling each one deeper into mathematical obsession, and risking both of their sanity.



Fun Math Books

Cover Art
About Time - Bruce Koscielniak
Call Number: QB209.5 .K67 2004
Publication Date: 2004-11-01
Describes the concept of time and how it has been measured throughout history, using water clocks, sundials, calendars, and atomic vibrations.

Cover Art
Math Doesn't Suck - Danica McKellar
Call Number: QA13 .M319 2007
Publication Date: 2008-07-01
Gives you easy to follow, step-by-step instruction, time-saving tips an tricks for homework and tests, illuminating practice problems with detailed solutions, real-world examples and true stories from Danica's own life.

Cover Art
Polygons - Marina Cohen
Call Number: QA482 .C64 2011
Publication Date: 2010-08-01
Polygons are shapes with a number of sides joined together. They are everywhere! A baseball field is a diamond-shaped polygon. Join Emily at a baseball game and look for different shapes. She discovers that the field is full of much more than baseball players--it's filled with polygons, too.

Cover Art
Shape Up! - David A. Adler; Nancy Tobin (Illustrator)
Call Number: QA445.5 .A35 1998
Publication Date: 1998-03-15
Uses cheese slices, pretzel sticks, a slice of bread, graph paper, a pencil, and more to introduce various polygons, flat shapes with varying numbers of straight sides.

Cover Art
Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter - Cindy Neuschwander; Wayne Geehan (Illustrator)
Call Number: QA445.5 .N497 2006
Publication Date: 2006-07-01
Per and her cousin Radius set sail to the Isle of Immeter to unlock the secret of Immeter before the fearsome sea serpent finds them.

Lesson Plan

An Introduction to Fractions

Subject(s): Mathematics
Grade Level(s): 3-5, 6-8


Students will be introduced to fractions, including equivalent fractions, nominators, and denominators.


Copy and distribute the printable Resources section below. Have students read the essay for background information and consult any or all of the encyclopedia articles that follow it to learn more about the topic.


Essay: Numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 120, and 4,000 are called whole numbers, or integers. When you multiply one integer by another, the answer is always an integer: 5 × 6 = 30; 7 × 9 = 63. However, it is not always possible to obtain an integer as an answer when you divide one integer by another. If 8 apples are to be divided into 3 equal shares, the result is 8/3, which is a fraction. This fraction can be reduced to a whole number and a remaining fraction—that is, 8/3 equals 22/3. Therefore, if you were to divide 8 apples equally among 3 people, each person would receive 2 whole apples plus 2/3 apple.


Create a display showing the fractions of men and women in different occupations—for example, teachers in your school, police officers in your community, legislators in your state, senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress.

For Discussion

What are the numerator and denominator of a fraction? Can zero be a denominator? Why or why not?

How does one add fractions when all the denominators are the same? How does one add fractions when the denominators are different?

Give some examples of how fractions are used in everyday life.


Go further by completing one or more of the following assignments:

  • Compare prime and composite numbers. Give examples of each.
  • Compare mixed numbers and improper fractions. Give examples.
  • Define and give examples of equivalent fractions. In each group of equivalent fractions, indicate the simplest form.


Use drawings of pizzas to demonstrate the fractions 1/ 3, 1/4, 3/4, and 7/8.

Suggested Terms for Searching:




Fractions and Decimals

Numbers and Number Systems

Suggested Resources:

Also See

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