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Get in Line for a Timely App for a Time-Line

When thinking about the history of mathematics, is is often difficult (i.e. impossible!) to put everything into perspective. A decent time-line would help, but they often vary in both focus and quality. In the Recommended Websites for this week, I suggest a lengthy list of useful time-lines for the history fo mathematics.

Recently, IBM released a new FREE iPad app Minds of Modern Mathematics. It offers an interactive time-line of the history of mathematics and its impact on society. The time range ends at 1960...hmmm, why?

The answer to the "why?" is that the app is basically a "modern version" of IBM's orignal 50-foot-long Men of Modern Mathematics time-line, originally created by Charles and Ray Eames. In 1964, the time-line became a key part of the IBM Mathematica exhibits that used to tour the country. (Ah, the good memories of that exhibit (see below), as I used to bring my students to it as a class trip!)

Via this IBM app, one can browse through the interactive timeline with its biographies, math milestones and other images. And, you can "click" on an entry to see further discussion, plus learn how math events and/or mathematicians fit with other historical events.

In bringing back this historical time-line that used to grace so many math teachers' walls, IBM also decided to include with the app a copy of the IBM Mathematics Peep Show. If you have never seen this (or perhaps you did as a young student but have forgotten), the series involves nine 2-minute animated clips on a variety of math topics. When watching, remember these animations were made in the 1960s as well.

And, remember that the app is FREE!