MAT 336 - Spring 2020
Lecture 01 - Tues, Thurs 2:30-3:50 - Harriman Hall 108
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Detailed Syllabus and Schedule

We will learn how mathematics developed, from c. 2000 BCE to the beginning of the 20th century. Along with the Western tradition (Mesopotamia/Egypt, Greece, Europe) we will study developments in Central/South America, in India and in China. As much as possible, we will do mathematics as it was done in the period we are studying.

Instructor. Anthony Phillips. Office: 3-119 Math Tower. email: tony "at"
Class meetings: Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:50 in Harriman 108.
Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-2 pm, or by appointment (in class or by email).


  1. David M. Burton, The History of Mathematics, 7th edition, McGrawhill 2011. paperback IBSN 9780071289207. (Required)
  2. William Dunham, Journey Through Genius, Penguin 1990. paperback ISBN 978014014739-1. (Required)

Grading policy. Weekly Quizzes 30%, Class Presentation 20%, Term Paper 50%

Readings, Quizzes, Presentations, Paper.

Writing Requirement. Successful completion of MAT 336 with a C or better satisfies DEC H and the expository portion of the upper-division writing requirement for the mathematics major, as well as the STAS, WRTD, and SPK objectives in the Stony Brook Curriculum (see below).

Learning Outcomes for "Understand relationships between Science or Technology and the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences (STAS)"

  1. Apply concepts and tools drawn from any field of study in order to understand the links between science or technology and the arts, humanities or social sciences.
  2. Synthesize quantitative and/or technical information and qualitative information to make informed judgments about the reciprocal relationship between science or technology and the arts, humanities or social sciences.

Learning Outcomes for "Speak Effectively before an Audience (SPK)"

  1. Research a topic, develop an oral argument and organize supporting details.
  2. Deliver a proficient and substantial oral presentation for the intended audience using appropriate media.
  3. Evaluate oral presentations of others according to specific criteria.

Learning Outcomes for "Write Effectively within One's Discipline (WRTD)"

  1. Collect the most pertinent evidence, draw appropriate disciplinary inferences, organize effectively for one's intended audience, and write in a confident voice using correct grammar and punctuation.

Disability Support Services (DSS): If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.
Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to this website.

Academic Integrity: Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website.

Critical Incident Management: Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students' ability to learn.