Mathematics and History

Published by MrHonner on

I had a limited understanding of what I could do with math when I was in school, which was as much my fault for being narrow-minded as anyone else’s fault for not showing me the incredible breadth of mathematical applications. This ultimately contributed to an unsatisfying experience in graduate school and a departure from math, which I talked about in this story.

So as a teacher I make sure students know that math will always create options for them. I tell them that whatever they decide to study — science, humanities, the arts — they should keep taking math classes as long as they enjoy them. There are quantitative aspects to every discipline, and knowing math will always set them apart and give them an edge in their field.

Recently a student asked me about how mathematics could be applied to the study of history. She is passionate about studying both, but sees them as disconnected and unrelated. I had a few answers for her, but I was looking to provide her with more. So I put out a request on Twitter.

The response was remarkable. I learned a lot, and so did my student! Here is a brief summary of the great resources, links, and ideas that were offered.

There were many more responses, and I recommend looking through the Twitter thread. Thanks to everyone for contributing, and for helping to keep one more student studying math.

Categories: Resources


John Golden · November 11, 2018 at 9:23 am

Sweet collection of resources and connections. Thanks!

Arthur Doohan · November 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

Check out
Peter Turchin

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