Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics, Ramjas College,

University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The Internet is a wonderful place to explore the vast amount of information that it makes available around the world, but without borders and often confusing the explorer. Even well prepared surfers stumble aimlessly through cyberspace using hit-or-miss methods in search of useful information with few results, little substance and lots of frustration. The purpose of this article is to encourage and facilitate the teaching and learning of history of mathematics at all levels, using the Web. Some of the most useful resources on the history of mathematics are identified, described, and hyperlinked. The resources are divided into eleven sections. While some websites may fall in more than one section, each website appears in what seemed to be the most relevant section.  


The Internet is a wonderful place to explore the vast amount of information that it makes available around the world, but without borders and often confusing the explorer. Even well prepared surfers stumble aimlessly through cyberspace using hit-or-miss methods in search of useful information with few results, little substance and lots of frustration. The purpose of this article is to encourage and facilitate the teaching and learning of history of mathematics at all levels, using the Web. Some of the most useful resources on the history of mathematics are identified, described, and hyperlinked. The resources are divided into twelve sections. While some websites may fall in more than one section, each website appears in what seemed to be the most relevant section. 

The section ‘Gateway Pages’ includes some of the best known general websites on history of mathematical sciences providing historical accounts by regions of the world, timelines, a chronology, an index of files, etc. An extensive list of resources including links to standalone sites containing material on a single topic is provided in the section ‘Useful Web Resources’. A few of the many wonderful websites that provide biographies of mathematicians are identified and describes in the section ‘General and Individual Biographies’. Some websites devoted to individuals like Sir Isaac Newton, Archimedes, and Paul Erdös etc. are also listed. The section ‘Regional Mathematics’ provides a short list of websites that give a variety of material on the development of mathematical sciences in specific regions of the globe. The section ‘History of Vedic Mathematics’ describes some websites that offer interesting literature on the development of Vedic Mathematics, the ancient system of mathematics of the Vedas.  

Some other sections are: ‘On-line Books and Journals’ that lists sites providing on-line availability of the contents of some books and journals, ‘Bibliographic Resources’ which contains sites giving lists of published books and/or articles relevant to history of mathematics in an educational context, ‘Societies for Mathematics History’ which includes home pages of three well known societies that promote history of mathematical sciences, ‘Links on History of Computing’  which lists sites related to the development of computers and computing. Using history in mathematics classes helps to increase motivation for learning. The section ‘History in Education’ includes websites that promote the use of history in mathematics classes, websites that provide examples where this concept has been applied, and websites that post bibliographies and additional links that allow for extended research. Finally, the section ‘Miscellaneous Resources’ contains a few websites that may be helpful or interesting to visit but which do not fall naturally into any of the above sections. 


All general sites have a gateway page that indicates the type of resources that are available on other pages of the site. The gateways to some of the best-known general sites on history of mathematical sciences are given below:  

David Joyce’s History of Mathematics Archive aleph0.clarku .edu/~djoyce/mathhist/mathhist.html Maintained at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Clark University, this site features a look at the history of mathematics. Find historical accounts by regions of the world, timelines, a chronology, an index of files, and a list of books, journals, bibliography and other resources. This is the starting point to a wealth of resources provided by David Joyce of Clark University, USA. There are pages on subjects, history of mathematics texts etc, as well as an excellent list of clearly categorized Web Resources. 

The Math Forum Resource Collection Part of the The Math Forum, an on-line mathematics education community centre, this site provides an extensive list of annotated links to other sites. These sites are arranged alphabetically and the collection can be viewed in outline or annotated form. There is a well-designed search engine that allows for a variety of searches, like keywords, categories and dates.  

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive is the prominent site on the WWW for information on the history of mathematics. It probably contains as much information as all the rest combined. It has 1300 biographies, 60 famous curves, 30 history topics, chronologies, birthplace maps, and posters. Maintained by John O Conner at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland the offers search forms, suggestions, and historical and biographical information. It provides a variety of resources on the developments of various branches of mathematics and includes an interactive famous curves index, pages on mathematical societies etc.  

Trinity College Mathematics History Archive Created and maintained by David Wilkins of Trinity College, Dublin, this site includes biographies of some seventeenth and eighteenth century mathematicians, sufficient material on Berkeley, Newton, Hamilton, Boole, Riemann and Cantor, and an extensive directory of history of mathematics websites.  


BSHM Resources  Here is a well-organized collection of links to Web Sites on the History of Mathematics. The resources include David Calvis's History of Mathematics Web Sites. Joyce's History of Mathematics Web Resources This is a well categorized and annotated list of resources. Hypermedia exhibits are listed separately and there are also links to history of science pages. The emphasis is more towards larger sites containing sequences of internal links rather than stand-alone sites containing material on a single topic or person. 

Mathematical Quotations Server /mquot.html From South Carolina's Furman University, this site offers visitors quotations about math. Features include a keyword search engine and links to the sponsoring university. 

Calvis's History of Mathematics Web Sites A well-annotated list of about twenty-five sites put together by David Calvis of BaldwinWallace College, Ohio. Specialised sites are listed in order of earliest date covered. 

MacTutor History of Mathematics: Links to external pages The site contains an annotated but unordered list of twenty-six sites related to history of mathematical sciences, including most of the major ones. 

The Mathematical Museum - History Wing The 'History' wing of The Mathematical Museum is part of the Math-Net Links to the Mathematical World. It contains links to exhibitions, on-line books, information systems, museums and pages of interest for the history of mathematics, history of computing and communication and associated fields along with related history. It also includes some sample illustrations.  

Trinity College Mathematics History archive The site contains an extremely well organized and extensive list of Web resources. The sites are categorized and include many of the best sites currently accessible. If you know of a good site but do not have the address there is a reasonable chance that you will find it here. 

MathWeb History The site provides Links to CSHPM Services; Links to Sites Related to the History and Philosophy of Mathematics and a page of links to other related sites. 

History of Mathematics Resources Maintained by the Dept. of mathematics at University of Haifa, Israel, the site provides links to 39 resources. The list includes AMS history of mathematics sites, Arabic mathematics, Biographies of women mathematicians, A brief history of algebra and computing, BSHM list of web sites on the history of mathematics, Calculating machines, Egyptian mathematics, Greek mathematics and its heirs, History and pedagogy of mathematics, etc. 

History of Mathematics Sites: Math I Many sites have math history links, but this seems to be the grand daddy of them all. Any topic or person of any time or region can be searched here. It contains a section on women mathematicians also, as well as links to other math history sites. It is worthwhile to visit for anything concerning history of mathematical sciences.  

Encyclopædia Britannica Encyclopædia Britannica is the Net's finest encyclopedia. Britannica's editors have developed a user-friendly citation style for citing electronic publications, e.g. “mathematics, history of". For each topic it has an exhaustive table of contents, complete index entries, and citation information to simplify your research. Britannica can't be beat for researching famous (and not-so-famous) people, places, and things, although complete articles are not available for free. 


A wide variety of material is available on the Web concerned with lives of mathematicians. There are sites devoted to certain groups, e.g. mathematicians of a particular period and/or place, and sites that are extensive compendiums of biography. There are also sites devoted to ‘individuals’, like The Sir Isaac Newton Home Page and The Alan Turing Home Page, which generally contain material about the individual and have good links to other relevant sites 

St Andrews Archive Here is a collection of more than 1,000 biographies, of mathematicians  illustrated, referenced, and indexed both alphabetically and chronologically. There are also birthplace maps, as well as a separate index of female mathematicians. It is the best place to start for basic biographical information. 

Alphabetical Index of Mathematicians This site provides an alphabetical index of mathematicians with links to their detailed biographies. A chronological index, a short biographies index and a history topics index are also available. 

Hall of Great Mathematicians The page is maintained by David Collins, Jr. at Southern Illinois University.  Here one finds an alphabetical list of mathematicians with short biographies. 

Women Mathematicians dle/women/women.htm The Agnes Scott College Mathematics Department hosts this collection of biographies of women mathematicians. Browse the biographies by alphabetical or chronological order, read the photo credits or link to related resources on the Web. 

Mathematicians of the 17th and 18th Centuries Here is a collection of biographies of the 17th and 18th century mathematicians adapted from W.W. Rouse Ball’s A Short Account of the History of Mathematics 

Some Famous Mathematicians Hosted by Alexander Velasquez at the Central University of Venezuela, the page provides information on about 20 famous mathematicians. 

Portraits of Statisticians This site gives a nice collection of portraits of approximately two hundred statisticians, including several mathematicians who dabbled in statistical work, ranging from the 15th century to the present day, compiled by Peter Lee of York University. However the site does not include any text but the sources, together with some biographical references, are included. 

Archimedes  This site has a rich collection of Archimedean miscellanea produced by Chris Rorres of Drexel University, Philadelphia, including a pages on different aspects of Archimedes' mathematics, books on Archimedes, information on Syracuse, and links to other related sites, e.g. a bibliography of Archimedean literature.  

History of Mathematics: Mathematicians It has a limited number of pages on mathematicians from Europe, China, India, and Egypt. It also includes a section on special topics. Len Berggren at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada hosts it. 

Paul Erdös This site is created and maintained by Paul Hoffman, the author of the book The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth. The book is a work of oral history based on the recollections of Erdös, his numerous collaborators, and their spouses.  

Fibonacci (Leonardo of Pisa) The work of Ron Knott of the University of Surrey, this site contains a biographical sketch of Fibonacci, his life, times and mathematical achievements. There are also pages on the golden ratio and methods for computing pi using the Fibonacci numbers. Created by Andrew McNab of Manchester University this site provides a wide-ranging collection of material about Newton, as well as information about places and people significant to him. It includes a nice detailed explanation, About Newtonia, of the genesis of the site. There are good links to other Newton resources. 

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences A national institute located at Great Britain's Cambridge University, the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences offers this overview of its history, ongoing scientific work and services.  


Many of the gateway pages, notably David Joyce's site and the Mac Tutor site listed in Section 1, include good regional pages. The following is a short list of some smaller sites that give a variety of material on specific regions.  

Mathematicians of the African Diaspora Created and maintained by Scott Williams of the State University of New York at Buffalo, this site exhibits the accomplishments of the people of Africa and Africa Diaspora within the mathematical sciences. The history pages include the mathematics of Ancient Egypt, Pre-Colonial Nigeria, and Swaziland (the Lemombo Bone). There are good links to other related sites.  

Egyptian Mathematics Problems and /maths2.htm and /maths3.htm Here one finds some basic mathematical problems for high school pupils, produced by artist Mark Millimore as part of his extensively illustrated Ancient Egypt site.  

Egyptian Fractions Here is an investigation into Egyptian fractions using Mathematica. Several annotated links to other sites of interest on Egyptian mathematics. 

Ancient India's Contribution to Mathematics The site provides a broad outline of the achievements of Indian mathematicians between 1000BC and 1000AD, extracted from Birodkar Sudheer's book India's Contribution to World Culture. 

Japanese Mathematics The site contains a list of articles on the history of Japanese mathematics written in a European language. It is the work of Ogawa Tsukane.  

History of Mathematics: China aleph0.clarku.ed u/~djoyce/mathhist/china.html The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., maintains this site to outline the history of mathematics in China. Visit here to view a chronology of Chinese math studies, read profiles of noted mathematicians, and link to other Chinese historic and cultural resources. 

History of Mathematics Home Page Maintained by David Joyce at Clark University provides valuable information on mathematicians arranged chronologically and by the following regions: Europe, Greece, Japan, China, Arab Sphere, India, Egypt, and Babylonia. It also contains data by subjects and timelines. 

Mathematics in Latvia  This site gives a 'draft' of an informative paper by Ingrida Henina and Daina Taimina on the history of mathematics in Latvia.  


Rediscovered between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji, this is the ancient system of mathematics of the Vedas. According to him all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras, or word-formulae. The following sites offer interesting literature on the subject. 

What is Vedic Mathematics?  

Development History of Vedic Mathematics  

Vedic Maths Tutorials 

The Magic of Vedic Maths - What's This? This is an all-in-one site to know about Vedic Mathematics and Bharati Krishna Tirthaji, who delved into the ancient Vedic texts and established the techniques of this system in his pioneering work — Vedic Mathematics (1965), which is considered the starting point for all work on Vedic math. 

Math can be fun 2001/09/19/stories/0219b15b.htm Visit this site to learn how to use Vedic Mathematics. The concept of Vedic mathematics is explained more than makes up. There are separate drop-down links to what the subject is all about, its history and tutorial….. 


Cornell University Library Math Book Collection This collection consists of 571 books that have been scanned from originals held by Cornell University Library. It is indexed by author and by title, although without the date of the edition. Since all books were dismounted and all pages scanned (even the blank ones!) the reproduction quality is extremely good.  

Rouse Ball's History of Mathematics Excerpts from Rouse Ball's well know book A Short Account of the History of Mathematics (4th edition, 1908).  

Euclid's Elements The site gives an interactive version of Euclid's Elements with historical and mathematical comments produced by David Joyce. With a Java enabled browser it is possible to dynamically change the diagrams. The site makes the Elements accessible in a completely new way.  

Historia Mathematica Homepage Founded in 1974, Historia Mathematica is the official journal of the International Commission on the History of Mathematics. It publishes research articles in all areas of 

history of mathematics, book reviews, abstracts of recently published books and articles, and miscellaneous items of interest to historians of mathematics. The site contains information about the Journal, a table of contents of all volumes, a list of journals in related fields, and links to other sites.  


The following sites contain lists of published books and/or articles which are relevant to using history of mathematics in an educational context.  

Teaching History of Mathematics It contains a list of published papers which discuss the teaching of history of mathematics courses. 

Textbooks for a History of Mathematics Course You will here a list of possible textbooks for a history of mathematics course. These are books mostly suitable for teaching an undergraduate course but they also provide good background reading for anyone with a general interest in the history of mathematics. 

BSHM Abstracts This site contains brief abstracts, sorted alphabetically by author, of papers published in journals and books. A separate section covers abstracts of papers on the uses of history of mathematics in education, history of mathematics courses, and the history of mathematics education. 

Texts on the History of Mathematics Here one finds a list of texts including textbooks and similar general references. There is no annotation, so only useful if you know the name of a source and need further details. 

Non-Euclidean Geometries  Discovery of non-Euclidean geometries had a profound impact on the development of mathematics in the 19th and 20th centuries. The site provides links to the references that give a good account of development that took place before and after the discovery. It includes links on the Fifth Postulate, Drama of the Discovery. Some of the listed resources are T. Heath: Euclid's Elements, D. Hilbert: Foundations of Geometry, J.Fauvel and J.Gray, ed:The History of Mathematics, M.Kac and S.Ulam: Mathematics and Logic, etc.  


The Indian Society for History of Mathematics The site was launched in 2003. It includes latest news concerning history of mathematical sciences, information on forthcoming conferences, reports of recently held ISHM conferences, membership details, contents pages of all volumes of Ganita Bharati and some selected articles in the field. The site provides a platform to exchange views on anything concerning mathematics history. It also provides links to other important sites in the area.  

The British Society for the History of Mathematics The site includes membership details, BSHM abstracts, an archive containing a list of talks given to the Society, and a page of links to other sites. The site contains some 50 pages compiled by prominent British academics at the Open University, U.K. working in the history of mathematics.  

The Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics This is the Home Page of The Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics which manages Links to CSHPM Services; Links to Sites Related to the History and Philosophy of Mathematics. This site includes membership details, free access to the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics Newsletter, two official journals, Historia Mathematica and Philosophia Mathematica and a page of links to other sites. 

The Kurt Gödel Society Founded in 1987, the Kurt Gödel Society is an international organization for the promotion of research in the areas of Logic, Philosophy, History of Mathematics, the biography of Kurt Gödel, and in other areas to which Gödel made contributions, especially mathematics, physics, theology, philosophy etc. A. Setzer of Uppsala university  has provided a list of research groups for mathematical logic, philosophical logic and theoretical computer science on the WWW, which contains links to related topics as well.   


Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine  The site exhibits texts of historical documents, including Menebrea's description of the Engine translated by Ada Lovelace, and a detailed description of an Analytical Engine emulator. 

History of Computing Information http:// Assembled by Mike Muuss, this site gives information about the history of computing, with a focusing on the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the world's first electronic digital computer. The purpose of this Archive is to help the public remember that it was the U. S. Army which initiated the computer revolution by building ENIAC during World War II, giving birth to a technology which would change the world. There are 14 links giving information, stories and photographs of the early days of the machine. The site also provides links to 37 other web sites related to the history of computers and computing including the origins and development of the Internet. 

The Virtual Museum of computing Developed and maintained by J. Bowen of South Bank University, this site is an extensive collection of links to sites connected with the history of computing and computer-based exhibits. It is divided into galleries covering a variety of topics.  



Using History in Math Class The purpose of this site is to encourage and facilitate the use of the history of mathematics in the teaching and learning of mathematics at all levels. Gerald L. Marshall created it as a Ph.D. project. Here some of the most useful resources on the history of mathematics that provide assistance for the inclusion of history in the mathematics classroom are identified, described, and hyperlinked. The resources are divided into five broad categories. The category ‘Instructional’ includes sites that promote the use of history in mathematics classes, those providing examples where the concept has been applied, and those which post bibliographies. A teacher can find samples of classroom proved projects here. The category ‘Topical’ includes sites that develop mathematical subjects, historical topics, and famous curves. An instructor can provide historical introductions to concepts that are new to their pupils. The category ‘Biographical’ identifies and describes only a few of the many wonderful sites that provide biographies of mathematicians. An instructor can quickly find anecdotes on notable mathematicians to share. Likewise, the category ‘Informational’ contains locations with abstracts, informal notes, and on-line discussions and courses. A teacher should encourage the creation of posters and papers that have an historical theme. 

Fred Rickey's Home Page Home Page of Fred Rickey of Bowling Green University, USA, one of the leading proponents of using history in mathematics education. The site contains annotated links to wide variety of resources, including a description of his history of mathematics course. 

Syllabus: History of Mathematics The site gives the syllabus for a history of mathematics class and its instructional plan by Instructor Jim Carlson. The outline follows the major headings of Calinger's book Classics of Mathematics and spans a 3500 year period, from about 1750 BC to 1750 AD. The aim of the course is to gain an understanding of how mathematical ideas have developed over time, how social, cultural, and historical factors influenced the development of mathematics, and, conversely, how mathematics contributed to society and human culture, leading eventually to a scientific view of nature.  

History of Mathematics with Original Sources The site, which is the work of Gary Stoudt of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, contains a reading list, and a collection of discussion questions and homework problems, together with some images of famous works. It is good collection of materials for using original sources in a history of mathematics class. 

Teaching with Original Historical Sources in Mathematics Managed by David Pengelley at New Mexico State University, this page offers experiences and materials from using original historical sources in teaching mathematics. It contains articles on and about history of mathematics and its role in teaching. 

Mathematical Connections An on-line publication on the history and philosophy of mathematics, it presents applications of history of mathematics in the classroom. Keith Luoma at Augusta State University manages it. 


We list below a few sites that may be helpful or interesting to visit but which do not fall naturally into any of the above categories: 

Welcome to a Mathematical Journey through Time Maintained by Frances Rosamond at the National University, this site provides an interactive timeline from 3000 BC to the present and beyond. Earliest Uses of Various Mathematical Symbols 

Some Earliest Known Uses of Mathematics Words Product of multiple contributors, the above two identify the names of individuals who first used various common mathematical symbols or words and the dates the symbols/words were first used. The site is maintained by Jeff Miller of Gulf High School, Florida and welcomes any further contributions. 

Images of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps Another site maintained by Jeff Miller. It contains images of postage stamps featuring mathematicians and mathematics, as well as links to other sites concerning mathematical stamps. 

Famous Problems in the History of Mathematics  This site presents a portion of the history of mathematics by investigating some of the great problems that have inspired mathematicians throughout the ages. The problems included are suitable for middle school and high school students, with links to solutions, as well as links to mathematicians' biographies and other math history sites.  

Mathematics Archives –Topics in Modern Mathematics Supported by Earl Fife at the University of Tennessee, the site provides links to important recourses on History, Reports, Articles; Books, Journals, Preprints, Web Sites and Databases etc. It covers all topics of modern mathematical sciences. Links to various resources are organized by topics. Two additional features make this site a useful database: use of additional keywords to describe a site; and use of icons to quickly show the level of mathematical background to read the materials on the site and the type of materials available on the site.  

Hilbert's 23 Unsolved Problems In 1900, David Hilbert addressed the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. In his address, he outlined 23 major mathematical problems that would be studied in the next century. The address was not only a collection of problems; it was also his philosophy of mathematics and problems important to that philosophy. This site gives in a tabular form, the statement, present status and the reaction/contribution of various mathematicians who have solved or have been attempting to prove or disprove these problems.  

Fermat's Last Theorem 

It contains several links including one to the The Mathematics of Fermat's Last Theorem, a hypertext site created by Charles Daney which provides an overview of some of the mathematics that has either been developed over the years to try to solve the problem (directly or indirectly) or else which has been found to be relevant. 

The History of Algebra history-of-algebra.htm Created and maintained by DiAnn Sones, this web-quest site provides important links for learning about the origin and meaning of the word algebra and about who developed algebraic concepts. With available links it takes you on a journey through time and the history of mathematics to discover the answers to these questions and allows you to create a time-line to show how the mathematician and the mathematical developments fit into history. 

The Collected Works of Mathematicians: Index Compiled and maintained by Steven Rockey of Cornell University, the site provides an extensive bibliography of collected works and correspondence of mathematicians. The items are assessed by author’s name on the Index page. 

The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy  It is a general site on philosophy which includes articles on the philosophy of, amongst others, Aristotle, Descartes, and Poincaré. 

Math and Mathematicians Maintained by Jackson Creek Middle School, this site includes information about six specific mathematicians and also links to other sites categorized into four groups: Women Mathematicians, Mathematicians, Links and Photos and General Biographical Information. 

Contributions of Different Cultures to the Development of... pathfinders/akerman/bib.html Maintained by Calvis, this page gives an annotated list of nearly 50 sites pertaining to mathematics in different cultures and the history of mathematics in general.  

Mathematics History Internet Sites This site gives a list of Links to 12 History of Mathematics resources. It includes History of numerals and counting, algebra, geometry, arithmetic and number theory, mathematical analysis, probability and statistics.  




                                                 † Talk given at the National Seminar on History of Mathematical Sciences & Applicable Mathematics held at Gurugula Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Hardwar on March 7-9, 2003 and at the E.M.C. Mathematics Academic Camp for Teachers held at Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi on May 30, 2003.