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The Course: History of Mathematics

After 50 years at UNLV, Satish Bhatnagar finds that learning the history of mathematics — or any subject — provides a deeper understanding of the world around us.

It’s fitting that one of the oldest courses in the catalog, taught by UNLV’s longest-serving faculty member, is a history course … But you won’t find it in the History Department. 

This course, nested in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, teaches a different kind of historical narrative — one that’s written in the language of numbers and equations and that influences everything from technology and engineering to music and art. 

Taught for over 20 years by Satish Bhatnagar, the History of Mathematics covers the evolution of mathematics over time and its effects on cultures around the world. “Lately, I have been taking a humanistic approach toward the History of Mathematics,” says Bhatnagar.

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