M01 - 
Greek Math
  In this two-day seminar we will investigate how the ancient Greeks thought about mathematics by focusing on several different activities: reading brief extracts from different ancient Greek authors, including Plato, Aristotle, and Euclid; doing some geometric constructions using compasses and straightedge; exploring the patterns of numbers that so fascinated the Greeks, including prime, perfect, abundant, deficient, triangular, square, and oblong numbers; and learning the Greek alphabet so that we can read some basic mathematical terms. Additional topics to be discussed include: the Platonic solids--What are they, and why are there only five? The so-called "golden ratio"; Proof by contradiction; Why was Pythagoras averse to beans? Why did some people think his father was the god Apollo? Zeno's paradoxes; and the concept of infinity.
Harvard University-Rosovsky Hall
3/6/2020, 3/11/2020