High School Math

MISSION STATEMENT: To encourage and promote a greater use of the internet and computer technology in the math classroom. For educators, students, parents and homeschoolers.

Saturday, January 29, 2005



Archimedes is considered one of the three greatest mathematicians of all. His works and inventions brought him fame that lasts to this very day. He was one of the last great Greek mathematicians. He was born in 287 B.C., in Syracuse, a Greek seaport colony in Sicily.

One day while wondering if a gold crown was pure gold "the wise one" entered his bathtub and recognized that the amount of water that overflowed the tub was proportional the amount of his body that was submerged. This observation is now known as Archimedes' Principle and gave him the means to solve the problem. He was so excited that he ran naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting "Eureka! eureka!" (I have found it!). He also had many other inventions including the Archimedes' watering screw and a miniature planetarium.

His greatest invention was integral calculus. To determine the area of sections bounded by geometric figures such as parabolas and ellipses, Archimedes broke the sections into an infinite number of rectangles and added the areas together. This is known as integration.

While Archimedes was drawing figures in the dust, a Roman soldier stepped on them. Archimedes responded, "Don't disturb my circles!" The soldier was so enraged that he pulled out his sword and slew the great geometer. When Archimedes was buried, they placed on his tombstone the figure of a sphere inscribed inside a cylinder and the 2:3 ratio of the volumes between them, the solution to the problem he considered his greatest achievement.

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