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Women Mathematicians
Teacher Page

A WebQuest for secondary mathematics

Designed by

Jody Sheppard
sheppard_75428@hotmail.com
 
 

Introduction | Learners | Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Student Page | Strategies Home






Introduction

This lesson was designed for a final project in an independent study course on the History of Mathematics.  The course textbook focused on many of the great mathematicians but overlooked so many of the women.  It is designed to highlight the important contributions that women have made to the field of mathematics.

The student is asked to research five women in mathematics and then to choose their favorite to create some type of representation to convey the information.  The project is to be approved by the instructor and designed to encourage creativity.


Learners

The lesson is designed to be used in a secondary independent study class on the history of mathematics.  The student should have had at least algebra and geometry before undertaking this research project.  It may also be used in any upper level mathematics course with out any modifications.  For the younger students, a list of mathematicians may be given as well as a choice for their project so that it stays with in the limits of the mathematics that has been studied.

The student will need to have some basic computer skills involving internet research as well as some experience in writing or at least outlining some sort of informative paper. 

Curriculum Standards

Mathematics  Standards Addressed

  • Students will extend their mathematical understanding beyond the Algebra II level in history of mathematics.
  • Students will learn how environment can affect and influence life.
  • Students will be involved in the creative production of a project.
  • TEKS: 111.52 (b) ,(c)
Other  Standards Addressed
  • Students will utilize technology to extend their understanding.
  • Students will communicate effectively using a variety of media.

Process
  1. First, you will pick out five female mathematicians that interest you.  There are several sites available on the internet that will have a wide variety of mathematicians ranging from B.C. times to the present. You may use the following search engines to aide your search.
    1. Ask Jeeves
    2. Google
    3. Library Spot
    4. Dogpile
    5. Reference Desk
  2. For each person, list the following information:
    1. Name and dates this person lived
    2. Schools attended and additional training if pertinent
    3. Her contribution to mathematics
    4. One really interesting fact that wants to make you know more about her.
  3. Now choose the one mathematician that really jumps out at you.
  4. Your next task is to research her further.  Look for more sites searching for your mathematician.  Remember, you are not limited to the internet. You may use books and Journals that may be located in your library.
  5. Information you must have in your project:
    1. Name, dates lived
    2. Place of birth
    3. Schools attended and additional training and/or accomplishments.
    4. Her major contributions to mathematics
    5. Any articles or Books published
    6. Personal facts such as married, kids, strange events in her life, anything of this nature that is noteworthy
    7. The history behind why she discovered the math.  What was going on in the world at the time?  Was it her job or was it a hobby?  Anything that might have influenced her discovery in Mathematics.
  6. Now that you have gathered all the information necessary to begin your project, you must decide on what kind of representation you would like to use.  You will need to get approval of your idea from your teacher. 
  7. Based on what project idea you have, there may be additional criteria or recommendations from your teacher.  Please be sure to write these down when discussing your project.




Variations
 
This lesson was designed so that it could be assigned to an individual or a group.  When working in a group it opens a whole new list of projects such as performing a skit.  

The student should be given at least two weeks to work on the project.  Progress should be checked on a daily basis.  This allows you to offer suggestions in order to help the student over any stumbling blocks.  

Remember, be open to knew and creative ideas from the student.    

This is a great lesson for a self-paced environment and may also be easily integrated into the student's english classes as well.

You will need to be familiar with internet research and also encourage them to use the libraries and other resources.  If you have a university, have them set up an interview with a professor... these are the modern day mathematicians.
 
 

Resources Needed

  • Computer with internet access
  • Books are always nice but not necessary
One teacher is all that is necessary but it can be coordinated with another teacher to create a more extensive project.



Evaluation


Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Exemplary

4

Score
Research done on the five mathematicians

 

Researched at least three mathematicians and listed all required information on at least two.
Researched at least four
mathematicians and listed all required information at least three.
Researched at least five mathematicians and listed all required information on at least four.
Researched at least five mathematicians and listed all required information on all five.
 
Research done on your one chosen Mathematician




















 

Research was completely done on the internet.  Information was not complete but a rough outline did exist. 
Research was completely done on the internet.  Information was complete.   Included at least one example of their work and accomplishments.
Research was completely done on the internet.  Information was complete and included many interesting facts about the person, not just the mathematics.  Included some examples of their work and accomplishments.
Research was not limited to the internet but also included other sources.  Information asked for was complete and included many interesting facts about the person, not just the mathematics. Also included several examples of their work and accomplishments.
 
Representation of the mathematician

















 

The project idea had to be assigned.  Display told most of the information asked for in the process and included at least one example of the mathematicians work and accomplishments.
Project idea was not solely the students and required frequent assistance from the teacher.  Display told most of the information asked for in the process and included at least one example of the mathematicians work and accomplishments.
Project was creative but required some supervision from the teacher.  Display told everything you wanted to know and then some about the mathematician.  Some examples of their work and accomplishments are illustrated.
Project was creative.  Most of the work was done independently.  The display told everything you wanted to know and then some about the mathematician.  Many examples of their work and accomplishments are illustrated.
 



Conclusion

Many students don't understand why they study mathematics.  This lesson will help to understand why someone discovers a technique in mathematics and how it is used everyday.  This will help the student to make more connections between classroom learning and their environment.


Credits & References

A Handout compiled by Spencer Anderson of great resources on the internet.
 

Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page