Mathematics is a gentleman's art: Analysis and synthesis in American college geometry teaching, 1790-1840

dc.contributor.advisor David B. Wilson
dc.contributor.author Ackerberg-Hastings, Amy
dc.contributor.department History
dc.date 2018-08-22T21:42:00.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-30T07:22:48Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-30T07:22:48Z
dc.date.copyright Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2000
dc.date.issued 2000-01-01
dc.description.abstract <p>The story of geometry education in the American college has been subject to neglect, with most historians assuming that all available information was published in secondary sources around the turn of the twentieth century. However, recent trends in the history of science include the revelation of the development of the scientific community before the Civil War and an interest in the study of textbooks. Additionally, the literature lacks attempts to place geometry education and mathematics professors within the scientific community. There are also no modern biographies of the three principal actors, Jeremiah Day, John Farrar, and Charles Davies. Finally, mathematicians in the early nineteenth century often framed their discussions according to various understandings of two key terms, "analysis" and "synthesis.";This study, therefore, seeks to address these gaps. Day, Farrar, and Davies were the first three American authors to write series of mathematical textbooks, and their volumes on geometry were the most popular in nineteenth-century American colleges. As these facts are explored, the existence of a significant community of mathematics professors is demonstrated. These professors made incremental adjustments to the traditional liberal arts curriculum while carrying out "normal science" and publicizing European mathematics in colleges which were themselves friendly to Mathematics; Day, Farrar, and Davies weighed British and French influences, had much in common with their contemporaries in Scotland, and formed an essential step between elite colonial amateur mathematicians and university research Mathematics;;The dissertation is presented in six chapters. The first reviews the literature on the history of American mathematics and science between 1790 and 1840. This chapter also establishes French mathematics and the history of analysis and synthesis as "givens" in the background of the story of American college geometry education. The second chapter evaluates the Scottish experience with geometry textbooks, paying special attention to the manifestation of analysis and synthesis as mathematical styles, method of proof, and educational techniques in John Playfair's Elements of Geometry. Then, the third, fourth, and fifth chapters lay out the biographies and careers of Day, Farrar, and Davies, and these chapters discuss the professors' geometry textbooks with respect to analysis and synthesis. Finally, the conclusion ties together the themes raised above and outlines the history of American geometry education after 1840.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/rtd/12669/
dc.identifier.articleid 13668
dc.identifier.contextkey 6820680
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-13933
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath rtd/12669
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/66062
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/rtd/12669/r_9977308.pdf|||Fri Jan 14 19:27:05 UTC 2022
dc.subject.disciplines Higher Education and Teaching
dc.subject.disciplines History
dc.subject.disciplines History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
dc.subject.disciplines Science and Mathematics Education
dc.subject.keywords History
dc.subject.keywords History of technology and science
dc.title Mathematics is a gentleman's art: Analysis and synthesis in American college geometry teaching, 1790-1840
dc.type article
dc.type.genre dissertation
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication 73ac537e-725d-4e5f-aa0c-c622bf34c417
thesis.degree.level dissertation
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy
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