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A Timeline of Mathematics and Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem

mathigon%2Btimeline%2Bof%2Bmathematics A Timeline of Mathematics and Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem

A Timeline of Mathematics and Gödel’s Incompleteness:

This week, TED-Ed released a new video on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem. This is the latest in a long list of math video lessons produced by TED-Ed. The timing of the video was perfect for me as I had planned to write this week on Mathigon’s Math Timeline. This timeline includes an entry on Gödel’s incompleteness theorems.

Michigan’s Mathematics Timeline is an interactive timeline of developments in mathematics throughout history. The timeline begins with the development of the first counting systems and progresses to the present day. Throughout the timeline, there are images and names to click on to learn more about each development. For example, at the start of the timeline, you can click on an image of Ishango’s bone to learn that this artifact is the oldest representation of the earliest counting systems. Much later in the timeline, you can click on the image of Kurt Gödel to read more about his contributions to mathematics and click on examples of his theorems in practice.

 

Applications for education

The Mathematics Timeline provides a good opportunity to combine math and history in the same lesson. The early artefacts of the timeline can be used as an introduction to the development of counting and basic art. Items later in the timeline are more appropriate for college and high school conversations.

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