MATH 4388 - History of Mathematics - University of Houston
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MATH 4388 - History of Mathematics

***This is a course guideline.  Students should contact instructor for the updated information on current course syllabus, textbooks, and course content***

Prerequisites: MATH 3333

Catalog Course Description: The history of mathematics and its impact on civilization from the ancient world to modern times, critical events in the development of mathematics, notable mathematicians and the importance of their discoveries. This course is approved to satisfy the requirement for Core-Writing in Discipline (WID). There are essay assignments and some of the students need to do consultation in the Writing Center.

Textbook: Instructor's lecture notes. You should buy a MATH Access Code in the UH bookstore in order to view the course lecture notes (It's not course specific for just our class). You should view the class notes in CASA/CourseWare ( Also, the final exam will take place in the CASA test center.

Course Content:

This course is designed to provide a college-level experience in history of mathematics. Students will understand some critical historical mathematics events, such as creation of classical Greek mathematics, and development of calculus; recognize notable mathematicians and the impact of their discoveries, such as Fermat, Descartes, Newton and Leibniz, Euler and Gauss; understand the development of certain mathematical topics, such as Pythagoras theorem, the real number theory and calculus.


Aims of the course: To help students...

  • to understand the history of mathematics;
  • to attain an orientation in the history and philosophy of mathematics;
  • to gain an appreciation for our ancestor's effort and great contribution;
  • to gain an appreciation for the current state of mathematics;
  • to obtain inspiration for mathematical education, and
  • to obtain inspiration for further development of mathematics.


Blackboard Learn: Blackboard Learn is used to post assignments, to submit homework and essays. Please visit to log in.

Homework and Essays assignment: HW and Essay assignment are posted in Blackboard Learn. There are four assignments for homework and essays and each of them covers 10 lecture notes. The dates of submission will be announced. All homework and essays, handwriting or typed, should be turned into PDF files and be submitted through Blackboard Learn. Late homework is not acceptable.

Final Exam: There is one open-notes final exam on 9:00 am - 12:00 noon, December 2nd, taken at the CASA, in form of multiple choice with a few familiar homework problems. The notes can be viewed during the final exam in the CASA.

Grading: 35% Homework, 45% Projects, 20% Final exam.


CSD Accommodations:

Academic Adjustments/Auxiliary Aids: The University of Houston System complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students who have a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, University of Houston strives to provide reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring an academic adjustments/auxiliary aid, please visit The Center for Students with DisABILITIES (CSD) website at for more information.

Accommodation Forms: Students seeking academic adjustments/auxiliary aids must, in a timely manner (usually at the beginning of the semester), provide their instructor with a current Student Accommodation Form (SAF) (paper copy or online version, as appropriate) from the CSD office before an approved accommodation can be implemented.

Details of this policy, and the corresponding responsibilities of the student are outlined in The Student Academic Adjustments/Auxiliary Aids Policy (01.D.09) document under [STEP 4: Student Submission (5.4.1 & 5.4.2), Page 6]. For more information please visit the Center for Students with Disabilities Student Resources page.

Additionally, if a student is requesting a (CSD approved) testing accommodation, then the student will also complete a Request for Individualized Testing Accommodations (RITA) paper form to arrange for tests to be administered at the CSD office. CSD suggests that the student meet with their instructor during office hours and/or make an appointment to complete the RITA form to ensure confidentiality.

*Note: RITA forms must be completed at least 48 hours in advance of the original test date. Please consult your counselor ahead of time to ensure that your tests are scheduled in a timely manner. Please keep in mind that if you run over the agreed upon time limit for your exam, you will be penalized in proportion to the amount of extra time taken.



Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help students who are having difficulties managing stress, adjusting to college, or feeling sad and hopeless. You can reach (CAPS) by calling 713-743-5454 during and after business hours for routine appointments or if you or someone you know is in crisis. No appointment is necessary for the "Let's Talk" program, a drop-in consultation service at convenient locations and hours around campus.